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Core Palliative Care Medicines: Building Collaborative partnerships with community pharmacists Project – South Western Sydney

image of an elderly man taking medicine
Logo of phn South Western Sydney

Most people say that, if they had a terminal illness, they would prefer to be cared for at home and to die there if possible.1

 

The Core palliative care medicines: Building collaborative partnerships with community pharmacists project aims to support palliative care in the community in South Western Sydney and assist people who wish to die at home through timely access to essential medicines. This minimises suffering associated with emergent end-of-life symptoms.

 

This project is being delivered  between July 2023 and June 2024 by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), supported by funding from the Australian Government through the South Western Sydney Primary Health Network (SWSPHN) under the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care (GCfAHPC) measure.

 

1. Palliative Care Australia. Supporting palliative care patients who choose to die at home. Available from: https://palliativecare.org.au/palliative-matters/supporting-palliative-care-patients-who-choose-to-die-at-home

Letter of Intent

PSA and SWSPHN invite all community pharmacists in South Western Sydney to read the Letter of Intent and agree to stock at least one box of each of the five medicines on the Core Medicines List.

 

If you choose to be involved, your pharmacy name, contact details and address will be published on a list of community pharmacies committed to stocking specific end-of-life medicines. The list will appear on consumer-facing and health care provider portals such the project landing page on the PSA’s website, the PHN’s website and HealthPathways South Western Sydney. This will enable general practitioners, palliative care nurses and other health care professionals to refer palliative patients and their carers to community pharmacies who have committed to stocking the medicines on the recommended core medicines list (CML).

Participating community pharmacies

Core Palliative Care Medicines List for NSW Community Pharmacy

​​The NSW Clinical Excellence Commission recommends that community pharmacies in NSW stock the five injectable medicines on the Core Palliative Care Medicines List for NSW Community Pharmacy. The Agency for Clinical Innovation’s Palliative Care Network Executive Committee, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW Branch) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia also support this recommendation.

FAQs

The Core palliative care medicines: Building collaborative partnerships with community pharmacists project aims to support palliative care in the community and assist people who wish to die at home through timely access to essential medicines.

 

This minimises suffering associated with emergent end-of-life symptoms.

The NSW Government funded a survey of all community pharmacies in NSW in 2018. The survey demonstrated a need to improve medicine access for patients who choose to spend their last days of life in the community. The Core Palliative Care Medicines List for NSW Community Pharmacy does not restrict which medicines can be prescribed for individual patients, but is one approach which will allow community pharmacies to anticipate the medicines most likely to be prescribed, and allow prescribers to anticipate the medicines most likely to be readily available in NSW community pharmacies.

Development of the core medicines list (CML) considered the efficacy of the medicines, cost to patients (considering available PBS subsidies), routes and frequency required for administration, and availability of the medicines for emergency use in the PBS Prescriber Bag.

Enough stock should be held in a community pharmacy to provide an initial urgent supply to a patient/carer, until more stock arrives in the next scheduled medicine order to fulfil the prescription quantity. For most pharmacies, this would mean keeping a minimum of one box of each medicine.

  1. PSA will contact all pharmacies across South Western Sydney to discuss the Core Palliative Care Medicines List for NSW Community Pharmacy, and encourage them to stock these medicines.
  2. PSA will develop and maintain an online mapping resource that shows the location of pharmacies across South Western Sydney that have committed to stocking the core palliative care medicines.
  3. PSA and SWSPHN will develop and deliver CPD-accredited palliative care education for pharmacists, GPs and other health professionals in South Western Sydney.
  4. PSA will develop and disseminate resources to assist pharmacists in supporting palliative care in South Western Sydney.
  5. PSA will develop and maintain an online hub of palliative care resources relevant to pharmacists in South Western Sydney.

Please refer to the link to the Google Map embedded in this online hub. (Coming soon)

Please fill out the form and email to Sam.Flood@psa.org.au

 

Alternatively, you can complete the Letter of Intent online.

 

For more information about this project, or for questions relating to the project activities, please email Sam.Flood@psa.org.au

Webinars

Links to recorded webinars that have been delivered in this project are listed below.

 

Live Webinar: Supporting Palliative Care in South Western Sydney. Held 22 November 2023.

 

• To enrol to watch the recorded webinar and access the assessment, click here.

 

PSA Resources

Essential CPE: Palliative Care (original version has expired, updated version coming soon!)

External Resources

  • SWSPHN Dementia and Palliative Care Directory – Contains local, State and National services to guide families, carers and people living with dementia from diagnoses to end-of-life care.
  • SWSPHN Peace of Mind project
  • Peace of Mind project: Useful websites
  • SWSPHN Sorry Booklet – Palliative care support information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in South Western Sydney (downloadable)
  • The Death Literacy Index
    This is a population-based tool measuring the knowledge and skills which enable people to make active choices around end-of-life options and explores the contributors to their level of death literacy. As part of the National Evaluation of the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care (GCfAHPC) measure, Australia’s Primary Health Networks have been asked to disseminate the Death Literacy Index.South Western Sydney PHN invites you to (anonymously) complete the fillable Death Literacy Index form and send it to pomp@swshn.com.au. The results will be scored and submitted to contribute to the overall evaluation of the GCfAHPC measure.
  • The Syringe Driver: Continuous subcutaneous infusions in palliative care. 4th Edition. This UK-based book serves as a valuable reference source, providing comprehensive review of syringe driver use and administration of drugs via continuous subcutaneous infusion (CSCI). Available to purchase via online bookstores.

 

The faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University offers a postgraduate unit that focusses on the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of symptoms in palliative and end of life care.

Connect with SWSPHN!

Register for access to HealthPathways South Western Sydney

Simply email – HealthPathways@swsphn.com.au and request access as a health professional practising in the region.

 

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