Dr BJ Miller spoke at the recent Palliative Care NSW 2016 Conference in Broken Hill ‘Transforming our Landscape’ on developing a system of care around dying, noting what he referred to as the four pillars of workforce, policy, infrastructure and communications.

On infrastructure he referred to the number of people who die at home in Australia is much less than those who chose to, adding “This is a really low number, and it makes me think that we need places besides the home and besides the hospital, we need to flesh out a continuum of places for people to live before they die like aged care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, residential hospice facilities.

“I worked in a place in San Francisco for 6 years called Zen Hospice it’s a 6 bed little Victorian house, a beautiful place where anyone would want to be…and would cost about a 10th of care in an advanced care hospital, we should be building them right and left.”

He encouraged delegates to reflect on the system as a construct of our choosing and one which can be changed.

Palliative Care NSW published 2 papers on hospice in NSW during the year, looking at the experience of other jurisdictions and the meanings associated with home care and hospice in Australia.