ANZSPM Guidance - palliative care in the COVID-19 context

ANZSPM Guidance - palliative care in the COVID-19 context

The following guidance documents have been produced to support healthcare professionals in their understanding of COVID-19 context palliative care. 

The documents were prepared through the contributions of the ANZSPM COVID-19 Special Interest Group (COVID-19 SIG). They are intended to provide high level guidance for healthcare professionals. 

ANZSPM is grateful for the immense effort over a short period by the following volunteer members of the COVID-19 SIG

Peter Allcroft, Pippa Blackburn, Jessica Borbasi, Kim Caldwell, Michael Chapman (Chair), Katarzyna Chmiel, Maria Cigolini, Alexandra Clinch, Adrian Dabschenck, Carol Douglas, Christopher Hall, Helen James, Carly Kiani, Antony Kodsi, Sophia Lam, Wei Lee, Chenlei-Kelly Li, Carol McAllum, Anna Morgan, Christine Mott, Andrew Ng, Michael Noel, Alison Parr, Jane Phillips, Umbreen Qazi, Beth Russell, Meg Sands, Odette Spruijt, Patrick Steele, Lynn Twigley, Amanda Vo, Peter Whan and Jo Wood

These documents are subject to change and will be reviewed regularly as the situation evolves. Please check back to this page regularly for the most up-to-date versions. 

DownloadANZSPM Guidance document - Further Symptom Management in COVID (PDF File - 1167k)
ANZSPM Guidance Document - Supply and Access issues for medications in COVID (PDF File - 835k)
Palliative Care in the COVID-19 context (version 1, April 2020) (PDF File - 204k)
Palliative Care Communication in the COVID-19 context (version 1, April 2020) (PDF File - 452k)
Pandemic-Context Palliative Care triage - a response to COVID-19 (version 1, April 2020) (PDF File - 271k)
Solutions to supply and access issues for palliative care medication during COVID-19 (version 1, April 2020) (PDF File - 370k)
Peri & Post-death COVID-19 care at home (version 1, May 2020) (PDF File - 342k)
Essential PEOLC in the COVID-19 pandemic (version 2, June 2020) (PDF File - 209k)
Visitor Limitations to hospitals and palliative care units in the COVID-19 Context (version 1, August 2020) (PDF File - 224k)
Bereavement and the COVID-19 pandemic (version 2, June 2020) (PDF File - 252k)

Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG)

An Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG) has been formed to support the palliative care response to COVID-19. The ACPCWG is a partnership between Palliative Care Australia (PCA), the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM), Palliative Care Nurses Australia (PCNA), the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine (AChPM) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) program and Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand (PAPCANZ), CareSearch and caring@home. 

ACPCWG-related updates and resources are below:

DownloadPalliative Care during the COVID-19 pandemic - Cains & Coghlan (PDF File - 367k)
DownloadOpinion Piece 1: COVID-19 & Australian Specialist Palliative Care (PDF File - 80k)

AUS National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce brings together the peak health professional bodies across Australia whose members are providing clinical care to people with COVID-19. It undertakes continuous evidence surveillance to identify and rapidly synthesise emerging research in order to provide national, evidence-based guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19. The guidelines address questions that are specific to managing COVID-19 and cover the full disease course across mild, moderate, severe and critical illness. These are 'living' guidelines, updated with new research in near real-time in order to give reliable, up-to-the minute advice to clinicians providing frontline care in this unprecedented global health crisis. 

Latest clinical flowchart on palliative care: Management of people with COVID-19 who are receiving palliative care

NZ Taskforce on COVID-19

Through ANZSPM's existing collaboration with the key palliative care peak bodies in NZ, a taskforce on COVID-19 has been rapidly put in place. The taskforce continues to work on developing a range of resources to support all clinicians during the COVID-19 situation. Hospice NZ is hosting on its website resources for both public and health professional information. ANZSPM's Aotearoa Committee is providing regular updates shared with NZ members on the work of the collaboration. 

Hospice NZ resources webpage [COVID-19 response support]-

Australian Government Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert - regular updates from the Australian government 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for the health and aged care sector - up-to-date information for the health and aged care sector

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for public gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups;

Services Australia News for health professionals

Department of Health MBS online COVID-19 information

New Zealand Government Resources 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) - regular updates from the NZ government

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) resources for health professionals

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) information for aged care providers

World Health Organisation (WHO) resources

Coronavirus Technical guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: Rights, Roles and Responsibilities of Health Workers

Integrating palliative care and symptom relief into the response to humanitarian emergencies and crises

Other relevant resources

The Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) COVID-19 Guidelines

NPS MedicineWise Being medicinewise during COVID-19

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) COVID-19 website

Hospice NZ resources webpage COVID-19 response support

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Statement from AHPRA and the National Boards in response to COVID-19 and COVID-19 updates

The NZ Cancer Control Agency endorsed National Centre for Infections in Cancer (NCIC) Interim guidelines on COVID-19

CareSearch COVID-19 resources website

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement's resources on Grief and Bereavement and COVID-19

International resources 

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group - "COVID-19 and Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care in Secondary Care -Role of the speciality and guidance to aid care"

DownloadCOVID-19 and Palliative, End of life and Bereavement Care in Secondary Care (PDF File - 731k)

BC Centre for Palliative Care Guidelines "Symptom management for adult patients with COVID-19 receiving end-of-life supportive care outside the ICU"

DownloadBC Centre Symptom Management Guidelines (PDF File - 271k)

European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Coronavirus and the Palliative Care Response

Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) Coronavirus Response and Palliative Care

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) Palliative Care and COVID-19 resources

National Hospice & Palliative Care Organisation (NHPCO) Emergency Preparedness COVID-19 information

Our World in Data Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Statistics and Research

Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

British Geriatrics Society (BGS) good practice guide: Coronavirus: Managing delirium in confirmed and suspected cases

Centre to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) CAPC COVID-19 Response Resources

NICE have released some guidance on critical care including an algorithm on pre- critical care decision-making

Hospice UK COVID webpage with collected palliative-specific resources

The Royal College of Physicians

Helix Centre working with Central North West London NHS Trust;- free for use, but please acknowledge the Helix Centre 

Resources from the Centre to Advance Palliative Care, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, USA

The NEJM provides a collection of free papers regarding COVID epidemic

UpToDate website on COVID-19


Development of a Palliative Care Toolkit for the COVID19 pandemic (journal pre-proof) - Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 

COVID-19 When to shift resources from containment to treatment - MJA

The silver lining of COVID-19. A guest blog post by Associate Professor Odette Spruijt (20 May 2020) - CareSearch

Disaster of system failure challenges for health care in 2020 - MJA

Preparing for the disaster of a flu pandemic - MJA

Palliating a Pandemic: "All Patients Must Be Cared For" - Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

A Letter of Support for You and Thoughts about COVID-19 - PALLIMED A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog

Supporting the Health Care Workforce During the COVID-19 Global Epidemic - JAMA Network

The challenge of providing holistic care in a viral epidemic: opportunities for palliative care - SAGE Journals

Start thinking about palliative care in times of a pandemic: the case of corona... - EAPC President Professor Christoph Ostgathe

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