Palliative Care Pharmacist Training gets green light

26 May 2023


Pharmacists will enhance support for patients receiving palliative care thanks to a new Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) training program announced as one of the successful recipients of the Australian Government’s National Palliative Care Projects grants program.


The Palliative Care Pharmacist Foundation Training program will upskill pharmacists and improve their capacity to provide palliative care.


PSA also will pilot a community palliative care pharmacist service model, with specialist palliative care pharmacists who have undertaken the training.


The training will be co-designed with subject matter experts, partner organisations and consumers.


PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said the training program came after PSA delivered palliative care education and multiple projects.


“PSA has undertaken a lot of projects leading up to this point, including Primary Health Network projects, such as the Palliative Care Access to Core Medicines (PCAM),” she said.


“In South Australia we’ve delivered numerous projects for palliative care pharmacists in Aboriginal Health, in Aged Care and in community palliative care services.


“These projects have enabled timely access to palliative care medicines and support for end-of-life care for people in residential care and at home.”


Dr Sim said the new training would upskill the most easily accessible health professional to support palliative care in the community.


“Pharmacists already conduct medication reviews in the home and in residential care, providing critical care for patients on multiple medicines,” she said.


“They can provide increased support to patients, carers, including in bereavement with the additional knowledge and skills provided by the training program.”


Funding for the innovative training program and pilot of a new community palliative care pharmacist service model was announced by the Federal Government today as part of $68 million palliative care grants package.


Dr Sim said people who reported difficulty accessing appropriate palliative care due to gender, cultural, or disability reasons would benefit through pharmacist’s receiving training in delivering care to diverse patient groups.


“Upskilling local pharmacists in palliative care will increase the capacity of community palliative care teams, community pharmacists, and general practitioners to provide care to palliative care patients,” she said.


“The service model pilot will trial and inform an ongoing model of care.


“The pharmacist will increase collaboration and coordination of local palliative care services, reducing unnecessary hospital presentations.”


Training will be available to all Australian registered pharmacists and more information of when it will launch and how to enrol will be communicated in 2024.


Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au