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'End of Life' Care in our Region

It's something that many find difficult to talk about, but end of life care planning can improve the management of a patient's health conditions and help to keep people out of hospital unless it is absolutely necessary. And today being "Dying to Know Day" provides us with a great opportunity to talk about this sometimes taboo subject. 

Did you know that*:

  • 75% of us have not had end of life discussions
  • 60% think we don’t talk about death enough
  • Over 70% of us die in hospital though most of us would prefer to die at home
  • Very few of us die with an advance care plan (less than 10 percent)
  • The number of Australians aged 65 and over will double by 2050 increasing our need to plan while well and share our wishes with our loved ones

* Source: http://www.dyingtoknowday.org/

NBMPHN is therefore embarking on a new project to improve the process around end of life care for people in the region within primary care settings, including residential aged care facilities. This work will involve:

  • mapping the end of life care needs in the region;
  • improving the practices for end of life care planning and directives across residential aged care facilities and general practice in the region - to improve conversations around end of life and planning processes associated with that;
  • developing a model of best practice for end of life care across primary care settings in the region;
  • evidencing the importance of end of life care planning - having those conversations with those around you and primary care providers so that end of life wishes are known and can be respected and upheld.

The next steps of this project are to interview stakeholders across the region, workshop the development of a model of practice and then pilot the model in the region.

If you play a role in the management of patients that involves the need for end of life care discussions, we'd love to hear from you. Contact David Crisp, Program Development Officer, on 4708 8100 for more information. 

And find out more about Dying to Know Day from the Groundswell Project.

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Lizz Reay's avatar
Lizz Reay is the CEO of Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network. Previously Deputy CEO of Nepean Blue Mountains Medicare Local & Nepean Division of General Practice, she has an extensive background in public health.
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