Medication Safety & Quality

Community Pharmacy Palliative Care Initiative

The NSW Community Pharmacy Palliative Care Initiative aims to enhance palliative care services within NSW, through supporting the role of community pharmacy in improving medication management for people with palliative care needs.

Multidisciplinary team based palliative care is paramount to ensuring optimal and holistic palliative and end of life care, regardless of setting. The accessibility and the role of community pharmacists places them in an ideal position to assist in the delivery of community-based palliative care services.

Research has shown there are several key areas where community pharmacists may effectively contribute to community-based palliative care, including:

  • Conducting medication reviews
  • Provision of education and information to patients and their carers on the quality use of medicines
  • Consulting and collaborating with other health professionals to ensure continuity of patient care, and
  • Outlining symptom management protocols.

The NSW Community Pharmacy Palliative Care Initiative is a two-year project involving two key phases.

Phase 1

Throughout Phase 1, more than 100 diverse stakeholders were engaged through consultation including interviews, written submissions, workshops and focus groups. This phase captured a wide range of perspectives from government and non-government organisations, peak professional bodies, health services, consumers and health professionals across the tertiary, primary and community care settings.

Phase 1 Report and Attachments

Phase 2

Key findings from the Phase 1 consultation have provided the next steps to undertake over the next 12 months. These include:

  • Establishing the need for a recommended core palliative medicines list for NSW pharmacies
  • Developing a standardised palliative care education package for community pharmacists
  • Exploring ways to support community pharmacists in specialist palliative care education programs