Aged Care

Enhancing palliative care and empowering nurse practitioners


As National Palliative Care Week takes centre stage, the commitment of the Australian Government to the Nurse Practitioner Workforce Plan brings positive news to the palliative care sector.

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) welcomes this development, emphasising the need to empower nurse practitioners (NPs) and integrate comprehensive palliative care training into their scope of practice.

Camilla Rowland, CEO of Palliative Care Australia, expressed confidence in the government’s commitment to addressing issues related to pay, job security, recognition and training opportunities highlighted in their submission.

“Supporting NPs to work to their full scope of practice, and properly funding their work under the Medicare Benefits Schedule is a positive step,” Rowland said.

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney, aligns with the vision of NPs to provide clinical care for acute and chronic conditions across a lifespan. The next crucial step is to ensure that nurse practitioners and other primary healthcare providers receive specialised training in palliative care.

“Nurse practitioners and primary health are key to increasing access to palliative care, that’s something we are highlighting during National Palliative Care Week and are delighted that Minister Kearney will launch the week for us tonight (22 May) at Parliament House.

“The Australian Government funds arange of well-regarded palliative care training programs, and we have been talking with the Minister about how these opportunities can reach primary health and aged care professionals – this is so important to meeting the need we see now and in the future,” Rowland added. 

During National Palliative Care Week, Palliative Care Australia highlights the role of nurse practitioners and primary healthcare providers in improving access to palliative care. They emphasise the importance of reaching out to primary health and aged care professionals and engaging them in well-regarded palliative care training programs already funded by the Australian Government.

In a related development, Silverchain commemorates National Palliative Care Week by celebrating the Jennifer Gordon Memorial Scholarship. Established by the Gordon family in gratitude for the exceptional care provided by Silverchain’s nursing team to Jennifer during her final months battling pancreatic cancer, the scholarship aims to support and enhance the knowledge and training of palliative care nurses.

Renae Lavell, Executive Director of Silverchain Western Australia, expresses deep appreciation for the generosity of the Gordon family.

“The scholarship recipient will receive education and training that they will be able to share with their team, and build on our culture to deliver best care to every client, every time,” Lavell said.

The Jennifer Gordon Memorial Scholarship serves as a meaningful contribution to the professional development of the specialist palliative care team, enabling them to provide the best care possible to clients and their families.

Silverchain’s interdisciplinary palliative care service has been a cornerstone of quality end-of-life care in Western Australia for over four decades. By facilitating care in the comfort and safety of individuals’ homes, Silverchain has enabled more people to fulfill their end-of-life wishes.

The scholarship recipient will receive education and training to further enhance their expertise and contribute to the continuous improvement of palliative care. This investment not only honours Jennifer’s life but also recognises the incredible work of palliative care professionals and their dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of those they serve.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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