Projects Social Services

Barriers to accessing quality palliative care for under-served populations

Projects Social Services

Barriers to accessing quality palliative care for under-served populations

Projects Social Services

Barriers to accessing quality palliative care for under-served populations

  • Services

    Evaluation & Advisory

  • Status

    Current

  • Client

    Australian Government Department of Health

  • Jurisdiction

    Australia

Palliative care plays a vital role at the end of life for many Australians, reducing the physical and emotional distress of dying, and optimising quality of life for individuals, carers, family and friends. 

Despite an increasing focus by governments and service providers on improving the availability of palliative care for all Australians with a life-limiting illness, significant barriers remain for a number of vulnerable population groups.

The Department has engaged AHA to undertake an exploratory analysis of barriers to accessing quality palliative care for the following under-served population groups in Australia:

  • People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • People with a disability
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Veterans
  • Refugees
  • Prisoners
  • Care leavers (which includes Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations) and people affected by forced adoption or removal.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • Identify unmet palliative care needs for each population group
  • Consider cultural and personal factors influencing uptake of palliative care services, acknowledging the diversity within the groups
  • Identify best practice approaches in palliative care settings
  • Consider the role of advance care planning in addressing poor uptake of palliative care
  • Identify effective strategies for government and palliative care service providers to better engage with and provide services for people who identify as members of one or more of these groups.

AHA will explore these issues through a literature review and a comprehensive national stakeholder engagement strategy. We will be consulting with service providers, peak organisations, academics and individuals from the under-served population groups across Australia through interviews, workshops, focus groups and surveys.

We will present our findings in a series of nine issues papers (one for each population group) and a summary policy paper, which will include recommendations for improving access to palliative care.

Palliative care plays a vital role at the end of life for many Australians, reducing the physical and emotional distress of dying, and optimising quality of life for individuals, carers, family and friends.