Palliative Care

There is an increasing need for end-of-life and palliative care in Australia. There are also more people receiving care in hospitals than at home, despite the majority preferring to stay at home. At the same time, people living outside major cities or in lower socio-economic communities have less access to these services. The role of this Clinical Theme is to address gaps in access and need. We do this through quality research and translation of that research into practice.

Research in palliative care is vital to improve the quality of end-of-life care. It ensures evidence-based practices, identifies service gaps, and informs policies for better accessibility and equity. By continually advancing knowledge, palliative care can evolve to meet the changing needs of patients, caregivers, and communities, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for individuals at the end of life.

Our Vision

Our Vision

To improve palliative care and end-of-life care outcomes. To enhance quality of life for people with progressive and advanced illness, and their caregivers, through collaborative, transdisciplinary research.

Our Focus

Our Focus

Palliative care is about ensuring the best quality of life to people who are approaching the end of their lives – be it through illness or ageing.

As the Palliative Care Clinical Theme, we intend to make exceptional, evidence-based care the norm for every palliative care resident in our local health districts and networks. It’s our goal to ensure that each patient receives care that meets their needs, is safe, responsive and appropriate to their environment. And importantly, that this care is patient and carer-centric.

We will do this via an integrated, coordinated approach to palliative care.

There are four key areas we are focusing our activity on:

  1. We’re talking to patients and palliative care services to understand the current level of care. We’re building on our clinical trials capacity to make the patient experience even better. And ensuring patients get the care they need, where they need it.
  2. We’re developing robust palliative care research. Research that stretches across disciplines and is built on collaboration – academic, clinical and services collaborations. We’re looking at innovative models of care and new technology that address consumer and clinical priorities.
  3. We’re expanding our research and grants performance in clinical trials, models of care evaluation, and the patient and caregiver experience. Dignity, humanity, respect and choice are central to this experience.
  4. We are making sure we translate knowledge across every aspect of palliative care. That this is ingrained in evidence-based practice, clinical expertise, patient and care preferences, organisational capacity, and training and education.

Our Team

Our Team

Palliative Clinical Theme Lead: Professor Meera Agar

Our 44 members include leaders from St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, the University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, South Western Sydney Local Health District and the UNSW Sydney.

Our expertise is broad and extensive. It includes paediatric and aged care. Clinical and academic expertise in pharmacy, health literacy, linguistics and bereavement, as well as disadvantaged, underserved and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. Senior health management, advocacy and policy. Legal and social sciences research, including ethics and legal aspects of health system reform. Research implementation, clinical psychology, complementary medicine and palliative care for people with drug and addiction problems.

We are also involved in palliative care collaborations across 20 national sites and a pharmacovigilance program in 100 international sites.

Together, we are driving clinical and consumer led research, increasing community engagement, building our palliative care capacity and empowering practice change and policy reform.

For more information, contact Dr Sophie Gates