The South Australian health department has launched a $16-million-grants program to improve access to palliative care services including in residential aged care homes.

The Palliative Care 2020 Grants Program aims to support innovative non-government organisations with grants up to $150,000 to develop new ideas to improve and diversify palliative care service.

The SA Health initiative will run over four years and one aspect aims to improve access to palliative care in residential aged care facilities.

It will focus on:

  • improving access to and the quality of palliative care in aged care facilities
  • building stronger partnerships between specialist palliative care services, the primary care sector, non-government organisations and aged care facilities
  • increasing the education, training, assistance and mentoring of the residential aged care workforce.

The other aspect of the program focuses on improving access to palliative care in other priority populations including rural and remote communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with disability and children.

Stephen Wade

SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the initiative would provide more options for South Australians to receive exceptional end-of-life care.

“These grants aim to improve access to high quality end-of-life care for priority populations, including those with special needs as well as older Australians living in aged care facilities,” he said.

Executive director health services programs and funding Helen Chalmers said the program would support organisations to develop innovative and unique palliative care services.

“These grants will improve palliative care in residential aged care facilities through strong partnerships between specialist palliative care services and other organisations, as well as increasing education, training, assistance and mentoring of the residential aged care,” Ms Chalmers said.

Rosetta Rosa

Aged care peak body Leading Age Services Australia worked with SA Health on the grants program.

LASA SA state manager Rosetta Rosa said the initiative would help ensure palliative care services were available around the clock.

“This has the potential to be a palliative and end-of-life care game-changer in many communities across the state,” Ms Rosa said.

“The focus is on innovation and the capacity to offer different services that meet local needs, across both regional and metropolitan areas,” she said.

Organisations with experience, capability or interest in delivering innovative palliative care services can apply for grants of up to $150,000. Individual organisations may apply for more than one grant for different projects.

Applications close 28 February.

Find out more here.

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