For GPs

There are an increasing number of useful resources available to support GPs providing palliative care in residential aged care, in the community and in shared care arrangements with palliative care services. These can help in clinical decision making and in managing care in different settings.

Recognising Change

Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT)

SPICT is used to help us identify people at risk of deteriorating and dying with one or multiple advanced illnesses for holistic, palliative care needs assessment and care planning.

Over 75 assessment

This health assessment allows a detailed investigation of an older person's health. It can be a prompt to consider the future of the person.

The Surprise Question

This simple and feasible screening test may identify patients palliative care needs: Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?

Framework Approach

This describes a three stage approach to care after identification of possible palliative care needs with the Surprise Question. Stages include: advance care planning, case conferencing and terminal management.


How to discuss prognosis and end-of-life issues 

Examples of phrases that can be used in discussing prognosis (142kb pdf) developed for the End Of Life Essentials Project.


CareSearch GP resource on communicating with patients, families and colleagues.


Planning for the Future

Advance Care Planning Australia

This is a comprehensive site that provides information for health professionals and links to state and territory legislation.


ACPTalk provides informational support for health professionals conducting advance care planning with people from different religious and cultural backgrounds.

End of Life Law in Australia

This site provides access to information about Australian laws relating to death, dying and decision-making at the end of life.


Providing Care

Symptoms and Medicines 

A new section in the Evidence Centre is a gateway to fast and reliable access to evidence to inform your clinical practice. It provides an overview of common symptoms and how to manage medications. There are links to other useful Australian resources 

Working with Families

The support and care of families as well as patients is a crucial part of end-of-life care. CareSearch has a set of printable patient and family resources.
Therapeutic Guidelines has a section on support for families and carers in palliative care.

Case conferences

Case Conferences can help to review and clarify goals of care and treatment options. Including patients and carers where possible is valuable.


Terminal Care

Home Deaths

Planning for a Home Death is a checklist of things to consider and discuss from CareSearch.

Terminal Prescribing

This document from ANZSPM summarises prescribing advice for the community. (61kb pdf)


Helpful Resources

  • For GPs, CareSearch
    Resource that addresses the reality of palliative care for GPs
  • Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care
    Comprehensive overview of clinical and care issues and guidance.
  • palliAGEDgp app
    palliAGED GP iconSmartphone app for GPs to support care of older palliative patients living at home or in residential care. It includes terminal prescribing advice.
  • Primary Health Networks (PHNs)
    Primary Health Networks are supporting primary care to improve care delivery and care coordination in the community. There six agreed priorities for targeted work by PHNs and aged care is one of these. Contact your local PHN to find out what resources they have available for aged care and end-of-life care.

Useful Videos

These videos were produced for the palliAGED or the Decision Assist projects Page updated 2 Jaunary 2018