South Australians facing life-limiting illnesses and their families will now have enhanced access to vital support services with the official launch of Palliative Care Connect.
Funded by the Government with $7.5 million over three years, through the SA Palliative Care Navigation Pilot, this initiative aims to bridge gaps in care and provide essential assistance during challenging times.
“This is a significant milestone in improving end of life care for South Australians and their loved ones,” Minister for Health & Wellbeing Chris Picton says.
“Palliative Care Connect will give comfort and support to those at one of the most difficult moments in their life. This will improve the end-of-life journey for many members of the community.”
Operated by the South Australian Government, Palliative Care Connect offers a free phone service and website to provide information and connect individuals with appropriate care and support services.
Trained Palliative Care Navigators are available to guide and support patients, families, and healthcare professionals through a dedicated support and information phone line.
Since its soft launch in October 2023, Palliative Care Connect has already supported 125 individuals through more than 200 phone calls, showcasing the immediate impact of such a service. The initiative focuses not only on providing information but also on facilitating connections to local community supports, enabling patients to remain at home longer and avoid unnecessary hospital transfers.
Developed in partnership with Flinders University, the Palliative Care Connect website serves as a comprehensive resource hub, offering key information about palliative care and bereavement, access to a service directory, and a self-assessment tool to identify necessary support and resources.
As part of its expansion plans, Palliative Care Connect will introduce specialist volunteer coordination, Aboriginal and regional palliative care navigation services, and bereavement navigation services early this year, further enriching the support network available to South Australians.
“The launch of Palliative Care Connect ushers in a wealth of knowledge and resources for those impacted by an end-of-life journey,” A Department for Health and Wellbeing Executive Director – Health Services Programs, Helen Chalmers, says.
“We have a passionate palliative care workforce in South Australia, and I acknowledge their integral contribution to ensure patients, carers and family members access the support they need to manage all health and end of life choices.
“I encourage those in the community impacted by palliative care, and those currently going through their end-of-life journey, to engage with these services and explore how they may be useful to you and your loved ones.”
Individuals can reach out to Palliative Care Navigators by calling 1800 725 548 (PALLI8) Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, with voicemail services available after hours for callbacks. Additionally, those seeking assistance can request a callback through the Palliative Care Connect website.
The SA Palliative Care Navigation Pilot, of which Palliative Care Connect is a crucial component, aims to enhance access to palliative care and bereavement support by facilitating smoother transitions between types of care and providing guidance into end-of-life care pathways.
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