State Palliative Care Conference – enable 20 palliative care volunteers to attend
Palliative Care South Australia Inc (PCSA) has been the peak body for palliative care in South Australia since 1984. It is a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting people living with terminal illness and those who care for them.
PCSA has been a consistent and influential driver of palliative care service development and discussion for over 30 years, continuing to be active in facilitation of education and training for health care professionals, carers and the general public on a number of fronts.
Their mission is to influence, foster and promote the delivery of quality palliative care for all. PCSA advocates for the needs, rights and interests of people who are dying and those who care for them, to ensure no-one in our community is overlooked when they are facing death.
In July 2018, Palliative Care SA is hosting The Heart of the Matter: person-centred care and the patient experience – a one day conference to celebrate and acknowledge palliative care’s vital role in making a difference for people facing death and bereavement.
PCSA applied for $2,000 to fund the attendance of 20 volunteers to the conference and a draft conference programme was supplied.
2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the modern hospice movement. In these times of health promoting care, trained and supported palliative care volunteers are a group of people in our community who are skilled and experienced in dealing with dying, death and bereavement and who can in turn model healthy behaviours and provide practical help to others. Because volunteers are not paid service employees, they offer a vital link between community and health care provider and remain a key part of workforce capacity, as they did in the early days.
Volunteering has always been fundamental to the palliative care movement. It is vital in extending compassion and expanding the range of services on offer to those living with a terminal illness and their carers.
The palliative care community needs to be aware that the overall nature of volunteering itself is also changing as volunteering takes on a higher profile amongst policy makers and demands on service open new opportunities for individuals to contribute their time and resources across a wide breadth of organisations.
To remain viable and responsive to patient and carer needs, palliative care volunteer programmes need to keep abreast of these changes.
The UCF Board felt that the conference represents valuable opportunity for the volunteers and were pleased to award the grant of $2,000.