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About Us

In 2004, the Department of Human Services released Strengthening palliative care: a policy for health and community providers 2004-09. The policy aims to strengthen service delivery for people with a life threatening illness, and their families and carers

The current palliative care system incorporates a range of services including inpatient and community palliative care services, hospital consultancies, specialist statewide services and day hospices.

To implement the policy and further integrate the palliative care service system, the Department provided funding to establish eight regional consortia consisting of the funded palliative care services, based on DHS regions. The Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium (the Consortium) was established as one of the eight regional consortia. The SMR PCC operates as a partnership with a memorandum of understanding between members.

Vision

The vision for the Consortium is underpinned by the Strengthening palliative care: a policy for health and community providers 2004-09 policy document [which states]:

"All Victorians with a progressive life-threatening illness and their families and carers will have access to a high quality service system which fosters innovation and provides coordinated care and support that is responsive to their needs."

Strengthening palliative care: a policy for health and community care providers 2004-09, DHS, 2004, p.62

The policy lists seven principles that guide health and community care providers in the provision of care for people with a life-threatening illness, their carers and families. These principles are:

  1. People with a life threatening illness and their carers and families have information about options for their future care and are actively involved in those decisions in the way that they wish.
  2. Carers of people with a life threatening illness are supported by health and community care providers.
  3. People with a life threatening illness and their carers and families have care that is underpinned by the palliative approach.
  4. People with a life threatening illness and their carers and families have access to specialist palliative care services when required.
  5. People with a life threatening illness and their carers and families have treatment and care that is coordinated and integrated across all settings.
  6. People with a life threatening illness and their carers and families have access to quality services and skilled staff to meet their needs.
  7. People with a life threatening illness and their carers and families are supported by their communities.

Consortium Structure

All Consortium members (both voting and non-voting) participate in the Consortium Management Group, which has four major roles:

1. Regional Planning Planning of services for people with life-threatening illness and implementing planned initiatives following approval by the Department of Human Services (DHS).
2. Role designation Role designation of hospitals in the region to ensure consistent access to specialist palliative care services.
3. Co-ordination of care Developing and implementing processes and systems for coordinated and integrated care for people with a life-threatening illness.
4. Determination of priorities Determining priorities for future service development and funding in conjunction with DHS staff to support the implementation of the Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Plan 2005-2009.

An Executive Group comprised of elected members oversights the implementation of the strategic priorities of the Consortium. The Consortium activity is supported by a Consortium Manager, project workers, committees and working groups.

Consortium Members

Ex officio members:

Consortium Priorities

The Consortium developed a regional plan through service mapping, data analysis and consultation with stakeholders to identify regional priorities. Underpinning the plan was the view that the region should develop a uniform and consistent suite of palliative care services. Subsequently, Consortium priorities have been developed in the context that they should:

  • Be considered on a regional basis – taking into account the best interests of the community as a whole
  • Be achievable – by the Consortium, or in partnership with other Consortia, Palliative Care Victoria or the Department of Human Services
  • Produce tangible outcomes
  • Ensure progress toward the future vision for the palliative care service delivery needs of the community.
The Consortium’s priorities are to:
  • Ensure that services are responsive and meet consumer needs
  • Continue to strive for equitable access to services - palliative care at home, inpatient beds and hospital based consultation – and hence equitable distribution of resources
  • Continue to strive for a whole of region integrated care system
  • Ensure specialist palliative care capacity to address population characteristics
  • Ensure capacity for clinical support for people with complex needs

Demographic Information

The Southern Metropolitan Region covers an area of approximately 2,900 square kilometres with a population of 1,214,619 (2006). It includes both highly urbanised and semi-rural areas, densely populated suburbs and relatively sparse populations.

The Southern Metropolitan Region comprises 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs): Bayside, Cardinia, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Mornington Peninsula, Port Phillip and Stonnington.

The Region has the second largest population of the DHS regions, totalling 23.7% of the 2006 Victorian population of 5,129,445. Casey has the largest population share of the ten LGAs, with 17.47% of the Region’s population, followed by Mornington Peninsula with 11.89% and Kingston with 11.77%. Cardinia has the smallest population share with 4.44%.