NSW’s first academic chair in palliative care will focus on improving the quality of care delivered to the residents of aged care facilities at the end of their lives.

Professor Jane Phillips has been announced as the state’s inaugural top palliative care researcher in a move that acknowledges growing concerns about the care given to people with terminal illnesses.

The role was established by the Cancer Institute of NSW with support from the University of Notre Dame Australia and the Cunningham Centre for Palliative Care.

Professor Phillips was appointed will be responsible for palliative care nursing research and education and investigating new service models.

She will be based at the Cunningham Centre at the Darlinghurst campus of St Vincent’s hospital.

The centre plans to create a multidisciplinary research team that will draw on the experience of palliative care patients and their families to improve the quality of care.

Professor Phillips said she intended to focus on people who traditionally haven’t had access to specialist palliative care service, such as those in aged care facilities and those living in rural areas.

“There are terrific opportunities to improve palliative care outcomes for patients and enhance support for their families,” Professor Phillips said.

“Further, we have a great opportunity to embed palliative care competencies into graduate nursing practice and to foster the development of the next generation of clinicians.”

Professor Phillips will also look specifically at the needs of the people caring for family members at the end stage of life.

Her research will investigate the types of support services that are needed.

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