PCA launches new paediatric palliative care resource

Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP today launched new resources for paediatric palliative care at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

“I am proud to launch these resources that will assist families going through some of the toughest times of their lives. It’s important that everyone involved in caring for the child is able to access high-quality information, and this website provides that.

“I thank the clinicians from Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand and Palliative Care Australia for their hard work in updating these resources,” Minister Hunt said.

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) CEO Liz Callaghan says the new resources about paediatric palliative care have been designed for parents, their community and health professionals.

“For parents, carers and loved ones of children diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, knowing what to expect in the child’s final weeks and days is emotionally challenging, but immensely important.

“It’s vital that we support these families to have readily accessible, accurate information that they can work through at their own pace,” Ms Callaghan said.

The resources were developed by PCA in collaboration with Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand (PAPCANZ), who are a group of clinicians from across Australia working in paediatric palliative care.

PAPCANZ Chair Sara Fleming says the new resources will help health professionals prepare and plan for a child’s care in collaboration with families.

“Children with life-limiting illnesses can often have contact with a palliative care team for many months or even years. Throughout this time it’s vital that all of the health professionals involved in their care are aware of the evidence based palliative care information to support their practice.

“Paediatric palliative care improves the quality of life of a child by treating their symptoms such as pain, but by also providing emotional and social support to their whole family.

“These resources will equip families with accurate information that will empower them to be more involved in decision making about their child’s care,” said Ms Fleming.

The project to update the resources was funded by the Australian Department of Health.

The resources can be accessed by clicking here.

Image credit: ‘Sports Day’ by Lewis/PCA