Implementation of a novel palliative care assessment toolkit (PCAT) in rural residential aged care facilities

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La Trobe University in partnership with Sunraysia Community Health Services and Monash Health has been awarded an ARIIA grant for their project ‘Implementation of a novel palliative care assessment toolkit (PCAT) in rural residential aged care facilities’.

The palliative care assessment toolkit (PCAT) project will train residential aged care staff to identify residents needing palliative care and facilitate access to the required treatment.

This project aims to improve the quality of care provided to aged care residents, improve medication safety and meeting residents’ preferences at end-of-life care. This project was based on our successful feasibility study in the community setting. The toolkit was found to be beneficial in identifying clients at the early stages of their palliative care treatment and hence, resulting in the provision of effective care to clients in the community. The PCAT will be modified to the aged care setting and implemented in nine aged care facilities in Mildura and surroundings.

The PCAT includes multiple resources from evidence-based guidelines on how to assess and manage symptoms of end-of-life care for palliative care residents using a collaborative multidisciplinary approach involving general practitioners, pharmacists, community palliative care nurses and residential aged care facilities staff.

The benefits and learning from the toolkit implementation will be disseminated widely through open access publications, running workshops, roadshows and disseminating the results of the project via La Trobe Media Outlets.