A new online training resource has been set-up to assist general practitioners and practice nurses in the delivery of palliative care in aged care facilities.

Developed by Palliative Care Australia with funding from the Department of health and Ageing, the module can be accessed via the Royal College of General Practitioner’s (RACGP’s) online education portal.

The training course enables GPs to understand when a palliative approach is appropriate in aged care and to identify the resources that are available to them.

It also stresses the importance of clear communication between the GP, specialist palliative care staff, aged care workers, the resident and family members about end-of-life issues.

RACGP President, Dr Chris Mitchell said the training activities would play a significant role in improving residents’ quality of life.

“By looking at prevention and ways to alleviate patient discomfort, general practitioners play a key role in advance care planning in aged care homes,” he said.

The module draws on information form the National Health and Medical Research Council’s ‘Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care’ published in 2006.

GPs can access and complete the interactive course in their own time and at their own pace.

The module can also be accessed from the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s online education platform

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