Regional Health

SA’s Palliative Care Navigation Pilot connecting patients with care


A pioneering palliative care pilot program, Palliative Care Navigation Pilot, is set to be launched in South Australia, aiming to enhance accessibility and support for individuals with life-limiting illnesses.

As part of the 3-year Palliative Care Navigation Pilot, palliative care navigators will be employed to connect terminally ill patients with local palliative care services. The initiative, funded by the Australian Government in collaboration with the South Australian Government, will operate in both Adelaide and regional centres across the state.

In addition to facilitating connections between patients and palliative care services, the pilot will introduce several improvements. These enhancements include the establishment of a user-friendly phone line, a dedicated website offering round-the-clock information, enhanced coordination of volunteers and improved access to bereavement support.

By providing better information about available services, seamless transitions between care types, and comprehensive support into end-of-life care pathways, the program aims to increase community access to palliative care services.

The Palliative Care Navigation Pilot will establish stronger links between primary health networks, specialised palliative care services, and relevant community-based services. The program will directly contribute to the objectives outlined in both the National Palliative Care Strategy and the National Health Reform Agreement.

Minister Mark Butler, acknowledging the emotional challenges faced by individuals with life-limiting illnesses and their families, emphasised the complexities of navigating the healthcare system during such difficult times.

“As a result, many people who could benefit from palliative care either miss out or receive it too late because they don’t realise what’s available,” Butler said. “I want to acknowledge former Senator Stirling Griff for initiating this pilot after experiencing the system himself, losing his wife to cancer.”

Minister Tom Picton highlighted the South Australian Government’s commitment to operating this trial, offering its residents an opportunity to experience the benefits of the navigation model firsthand. He expressed confidence that the use of palliative care navigators will increase the number of individuals accessing palliative care services, ultimately reducing the physical and emotional suffering associated with life-limiting conditions like cancer.

“The Malinauskas Labor Government is also funding an additional 10 palliative care nurses across regional South Australia and has tasked the Health Performance Council of South Australia with undertaking an inquiry into the provision of palliative care services in the state,” Picton added.

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


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