Reviewing perceptions of palliative care in WA

Patient perspectives of palliative care models is the subject of an independent review to be conducted in Western Australia in the second half of 2020.

Research indicates that the end of life journey for many Australians does not reflect their values or choices. Many, for example, say that in the final stages of their life they want to be at home, surrounded by family and friends, but despite that preference and advances in palliative care services, fewer than 10 per cent experience this.

In light of the challenges highlighted in the WA Parliament’s Report of the Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices, 2018 and the Sustainable Health Review 2019, the independent review will look at patient experiences and preferences on receiving palliative care and the perspectives of their families and carers. It will also explore the needs of those who were unable to access palliative care.

The usefulness of different models used elsewhere will also be reviewed to determine what could be adapted to the Western Australian setting.

With funding from the WA Department of Health, the review will be led by Professor Samar Aoun (Perron Institute and La Trobe University).

“Through surveys and sector consultations, we want to find out how patients, families, carers and service providers perceive the provision of palliative care in WA,” Professor Samar Aoun said.

“We want to know what they feel is working well and where there are perceived gaps in meeting the priorities of the WA End-of-Life and Palliative Care Strategy 2018-2028.

“The findings from the consumer survey will be discussed in service provider consultation forums across the State to develop recommendations for enhancements in palliative care models in Western Australia.”

Associate Investigators for the independent review are Associate Professor Bruce Rumbold (La Trobe University) and Associate Professor Lauren Breen (Curtin University). The Project Officer is Robyn Richmond, who has recently taken up this role at the Perron Institute.

The 2020 National Palliative Care Week theme was: “Palliative Care: it’s more than you think”. The independent review is an important step towards unravelling the complexity of this national theme.

For more information, contact Project Officer Robyn Richmond at

Pictured: Prof Samar Aoun, Perron Institute