Compassionate Communities awareness and recognition grows

The Compassionate Communities approach to end-of-life care continues to gain momentum and recognition worldwide, including here in Western Australia.

The first World Compassionate Communities Day on 1 November was followed by a virtual symposium hosted by Public Health Palliative Care International in London. Session themes were practice, policy, research, evaluation, with a live panel discussion, presented by other leaders in the field from Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Zambia, Canada and the UK.

Perron Institute and La Trobe University Professor of Palliative Care Research, Samar Aoun, presented the latest developments and findings from the Compassionate Communities connectors model for end-of-life care project. This model was set up to develop and strengthen the connection between the community and health services in Western Australia and has been translated into practice by the WA Country Health Service in the south west of WA by adopting it as standard practice in collaboration with the South West Compassionate Communities Network.

Professor Aoun shared positive feedback regarding the benefits of the compassionate connector program from the perspectives of patients, their family carers and their care providers.

At the recent Palliative Care in Western Australia Awards, the Compassionate Communities Connector Program was recognised as a finalist in the category for Outstanding Regional/Rural Team Delivering Holistic Palliative Care in any Setting.

Professor Aoun, who chairs the South West Compassionate Communities Network, was also acknowledged as a finalist in the Outstanding Palliative Care Professional Working in any Setting category.

“It was heart-warming for our Connector Program to be recognised at the awards,” she said.

“Thanks are due to our wonderful, passionate, caring connectors who volunteer their time to support the practical and social needs of others in their local community. Congratulations to all of the winners,” Professor Aoun said.