As the peak body in NSW for Palliative Care, we advocate and advise to ensure every person in NSW will have access to quality care that addresses their physical, pscyhosocial and spiritual needs as they approach and reach the end of life.

Policy Statements

Palliative Care NSW Policy Statement:

Thank you to everyone who helped us to write the Palliative Care NSW Policy Statement. This Statement will now help us to provide informed input to the development of palliative care in NSW.

Our vision is is that every person in NSW who is diagnosed with a condition that will result in their death in the foreseeable future will have access to quality care that addresses their physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs. To achieve that vision, PCNSW aims to provide informed and evidence based input into the development of policy at the State and national levels.

To that end, PCNSW has released this Policy Statement canvassing the significant challenges in delivering equitable,quality palliative care in NSW, and possible solutions to those challenges.

This Policy Statement reflects feedback received in response to our Discussion Paper, which was released in November 2011.

Palliative Care NSW wishes to thank those members and stakeholders who took the time to prepare submissions on the Discussion Paper, and who participated in regional consultative meetings over recent months. Your input has been
invaluable in ensuring this Policy Statement properly reflects the real and practical experience of those involved in the delivery of palliative care in a range of different care settings.

We consider this Statement to be a ‘living document’ and welcome your comments at any time. If you have any comments, please send them to:
Post: Executive Officer, Palliative care NSW
PO Box 487, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012

You can download a copy of the Policy Statement here.

Advance Care Planning in New South Wales

There is no specific legislation for Advance Care Directives in NSW, however the NSW Department of Health recognises Advance Care Directives as an extension of an individual’s right under common law to decline medical treatment.

Palliative Care New South Wales has produced a position paper covering all aspects of Planning Ahead in NSW. Click to download the PDF file.

As a founding member, Palliative Care New South Wales Inc supports the policy initiatives of Palliative Care Australia .

Significant policy documents which can be found on the Palliative Care Australia website at include:

  1. Standards for Providing Quality Palliative Care for All Australians (2005)
  2. A Guide to Palliative Care Service Development:  A Population-Based Approach (2005)
  3. Position Statements on the following topics:
    1. Carers and End of Life
    2. Advance Care Planning
    3. Primary Health Care and End of Life
    4. Residential Aged Care and End of Life
    5. Voluntary Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide .
The Extinction of Life

The purpose of this Discussion Paper is to:

  • highlight Palliative Care NSW’s (PCNSW) concern about the confusion surrounding the legal obligation to report deaths to police where a doctor is not immediately available to certify the death of a palliative care patient dying at home;
  • clarify the reporting obligations of health teams (doctors, nurses and ambulance officers) attending to an expected home death; and
  • suggest a “way forward” in ensuring that palliative care patients are not discouraged from receiving care in the home setting, and that their deaths are not made more distressing by involving the police, where police attendance is not legally required.
NSW State Election Call to Action:

Every resident of NSW who is living with a life-limiting illness should be supported in choosing where they die. It could be in their own home. It could be in their Residential Aged Care Facility. In a long-term in-patient Palliative Care facility. In a hospital. Under a tree. But too few people have that choice. The NSW government has taken very welcome first steps to ensuring that you have the choice to die at home, if that is what you and your family want. There is more to do however to make genuine choice a reality for all and ensure a safe and dignified death for everyone.


  • Increased investment in Palliative Care by $8 million per year:
  • $4 million per year to address current major gaps in Palliative Care services.
  • $4 million per year to meet the growing need for Palliative Care.


  • An ongoing commitment to supporting real growth in the Palliative Care service system, including Specialist Palliative Care services in metro and rural/remote areas.
  • Increased funding so that capacity growth is ahead of the ageing and chronic disease curve – not behind it.
  • Government policy that encourages professional development programs incorporating end of life care so that hospital clinicians, General Practitioners and other care providers feel more confident in providing appropriate end of life care. GPs for example can feel confident and supported in starting end of life conversations with the growing number of patients and their families.


Volunteering Services in NSW

Volunteers are a key part of the palliative care network. We aim to educate volunteers with resources to enable you to equip others, and connect volunteers through our network.

Get connected and get involved through our Volunteer Support Services Program today!