What can my organisation do?
Have readily available to families the Asking questions can help: An aid for people seeing the palliative care team (613kb pdf) resource.
Develop a list of flags to clearly identify the triggers for palliative care or end-of life care discussions or review discussions.
Providing comfortable non-clinical meeting rooms for end-of-life discussions may offer a more nurturing environment for discussion, putting everyone at ease.
Have a member of staff or key health professional provide a telephone follow up after initial discussions to check how information has been received and understood. Offering the opportunity to clarify information may reduce stress and anxiety experienced by the person and his/her family.
Provide a qualified medical interpreter if practical and not costly.
- Department of Home Affairs provides a Free Translating Service to approved community organisations and individual service providers.
- National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) provides an Online Directory to assist in finding an accredited interpreter.
Conducting a family meeting can be useful to provide information, to address the family's questions and concerns, and to establish goals of care. Information on how to conduct a family meeting in palliative care is available from the Therapeutic Guidelines (Palliative Care) (with subscription) in the section: Supporting families in palliative care.
Staff conducting family meetings can be helped by the palliAGED forms.
Family meetings often require a skilled facilitator, consider that skill set in a recruitment process.