GP Consultation – Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care Forum

Date: Wednesday 20 October 2021
Time: 7am-9am
Venue: The University Club of Western Australia, Seminar Room 4, Hackett Drive Crawley
CPD: This event been approved for 4 CPD points for the RACGP CPD Program for the 2020-22 triennium

WA Primary Health Alliance, in partnership with the WA Department of Health, invite metropolitan-based GPs with an involvement or interest in the delivery of care within Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) to participate in a Forum on end-of-life and palliative care in WA RACFs

Who should attend? GPs in metropolitan areas of WA with are providing care to people who are living in RACFs.

The Forum will bring together metropolitan-based GPs to consider primary care in the RACF setting and how future service improvement projects can best support them to meet the end-of-life and palliative care needs of RACF residents and their families.

The role of GPs and general practices is central and critical to an effective, comprehensive palliative care approach. With increasing age, frailty and multimorbidity, more and more older people are living with chronic conditions and their trajectory of illness will be progressive. This is particularly relevant to GPs who work in a RACF setting.

The RACGP Aged Care Clinical Guide (Silver Book) states that over half of the people admitted to aged care have a diagnosis of dementia, accompanied by a high incidence of distressing symptoms.

The RACGP states end-of-life and palliative care should therefore be core business for RACF providers, but notes the quality of this care in this setting is variable.

Forum participation offers an opportunity for GPs to discuss and directly inform:

  • The WA Department of Health prioritisation of the remaining $4 million National Partnership Agreement funding for additional projects to 30 June 2024.
  • Understanding of current implementation barriers, enablers and opportunities identified by GPs’ experience providing palliative care in RACFs.
  • Models that build relationships and access to information for GPs delivering palliative care in RACFs through formal networks, advisory panels or communities of practice.
  • Opportunities for GPs to work in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance to explore how to best support GPs to provide quality primary healthcare to people who are living in RACFs.

A separate session for GPs practising in Country WA will be delivered in partnership with WA Country Health Service and the WA Department of Health.

For more information, read the background below or contact Practice Assist at 1800 2277478 or email

This education is pending accreditation under the CPD Activity RACGP CPD Program.


What is the National Partnership Agreement (NPA)?

  • The Australian Government National Partnership Agreement: Comprehensive Palliative Care in Aged Care (NPA) aims to improve EOL&PC for RACF residents and their families/carers by expanding existing models of care or supporting new approaches to the way care is delivered or commissioned for older Australians living in RACF.
  • $11.4M over four years (until 30 June 2024) was provided to the WA Department of Health for projects that aims to strengthen and improve access to quality palliative care as a key component of an integrated health and aged care system.
  • The NPA output requirements are as follows:
    1. ‘In-reach’ models that include assessments to establish residents’ current and emerging palliative care needs.
    2. Models which support end-of-life care decision making and the development of agreed goals of care in order to meet the needs of individual residents.
    3. Training, education, assistance and mentoring to focus on building the palliative care capacity of the aged care workforce.

What has  the WA Department of Health done to date?

The WA Department of Health End of Life Care Program has consulted and planned in order to better understand the EOL&PC in RACF sector, and the opportunities and challenges.

  • The WA Department of Health Funded two NPA WA initiatives as part of the initial partnership:
  • Metropolitan Palliative Care Consultancy Service (MPaCCS) – Expanding the specialist in-reach model to build capacity and capability using patient-based care episode and scenario training.  The expanded model aims to increase RAC residents’ access to quality specialist EOL&PC in the outer east metropolitan region and to support the metropolitan-wide co-ordination of integrated EOL&PC across hospitals and RACFs.
  • Palliative and Supportive Care Education (PaSCE) – The Residential Aged Care Excellence in Palliative Care (RACEPC) project provides targeted education, training and mentorship to develop RAC workforce capability and capacity to provide quality EOL&PC services to residents and families. The training program will be delivered in consultation and collaboration with RACFs.
  • The WA Department of Health Consultation to date has explored challenges and opportunities including:
  • Hosting the Collaborative Forum: End of life and Palliative Care in Residential Aged Care on Wednesday 21 July 2021 attended by 119 health and aged care participants.
  • Consultation events in February and September 2020 with representation from Leading Aged Service Australia (LASA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) RAC members.
  • Targeted initial consultations with key stakeholders including primary care

They have taken learnings from literature including:

What’s next?

Consolidation of priority setting and stakeholder consultation underway; planning for the allocation of the remaining $4M to fund additional projects to 30 June 2024 is at various levels of maturity.

The GP consultation and outcomes from the WAPHA/WA DoH Forum consultation will inform initiatives undertaken that best meet the EOL&PC needs of WA RAC residents and their families.