Read the highlights of key issues discussed as part of the 03- and 04-2017 meeting, held on 18 August and 20 October 2017.
The Committee confirmed its 2018 Work Plan, which includes reviewing the recommendations of the Spirituality Training Working Party, and further work advancing and defining the Chapter’s relationship with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) through the development of a Model of Collaboration Schedule.
Education and training
Training Committee membership and Trainee numbers update
The Training Committee welcomed four new members in the second half of 2017, one each from NSW, SA, NT and NZ, ensuring diverse geographical representation on the committee.
There are currently 84 FRACP pathway trainees, 52 Chapter pathway trainees, 9 Paediatrics & Child Health trainees and 77 Clinical Diploma trainees.
New Cancer Care Setting term
As members would be aware, changes to the Cancer Care Setting term were introduced in 2017 and there are now two options for trainees (commencing in 2017 and onwards) to meet the requirements for this term; either by completing a term as an oncology registrar, or by completing a term in a palliative medicine consultation - liaison post in a cancer centre. The Training Committee accredits sites offering the latter, with 10 sites having now been accredited and several more applications pending. The Training Committee has received largely positive feedback about the changes, which offer greater flexibility for trainees. There are plans to formally survey trainees and supervisors regarding the changes in the coming year or two.
Spirituality Training Working Party update
The Spirituality Training Working Party received 108 responses from Fellows and Trainees to a short survey sent in October 2017 about how AChPM members have accessed training and developed skills in addressing the spiritual needs of their patients. The results will be included in a report containing recommendations regarding training in spirituality.
Communication Skills Workshop
The first workshop of 2018 will be held from 2 - 4 May at the College's Sydney office. There will also be a second workshop held in 2018. It is expected this will be held in July or August, although exact dates are yet to be confirmed.
Policy and advocacy
Palliative Medicine in rural and remote areas
The Committee discussed the deficit of palliative care services located outside metropolitan areas and how advocacy efforts from the Chapter could be increased in this area. The Committee have sought advice from the RACP Policy and Advocacy Unit on the best way to progress this.
Medical Assistance in Dying
The Committee discussed the RACP discussion paper on medical assistance in dying, developed by the Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party. The Working Party met in early October where they considered over ninety submissions from Fellows and Trainees on the topic. The College is currently still working towards the development of a position statement.
AChPM Narrative Statement
The Committee continued working with the College Marketing and Communications team to develop a narrative statement to describe the Chapter, what members of the Chapter are, what they do and the value proposition for belonging to their particular College body. The Committee intends to finalise this narrative at their first meeting in 2018.
The ANZSPM has produced a guidance document on Palliative Sedation, which is available on its website.
The ANZSPM Council have approved establishment of a Special Interest Group on Respiratory Palliative Care, for palliative care physicians interested in the care of patients with chronic respiratory disease. The interest group is intended to be a collaborative group with the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.
The next meeting of the AChPM Committee will take place on Friday 9 February 2018 via teleconference.
Dr Simon Allan, President
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine