AChPM Committee Communiqué February 2016

Read the highlights of key issues discussed as part of the 01-2016 meeting, held on 19 February 2016.


College Election Cycle

A/Prof Greg Crawford has been elected as the incoming AChPM President-elect from 16 May 2016 when Dr Simon Allan will become President. The Chapter Committee has now held an expression of interest process for casual vacancies to fill the New Zealand representative position and trainee representative position on the Committee, with confirmations of appointment to occur shortly.

Education and training

Trainee numbers continue to grow, with 136 Advanced Trainees in Adult Medicine and Paediatrics and 76 diploma trainees, the vast majority based in Australia.

Trainees in Difficulty Policy

The new Trainees in Difficulty Policy is now in place this year, after undergoing a number of revisions and refinements. More details can be found on the College website.

Specialist Training Program (STP)

The Chapter is awaiting news regarding ongoing funding of the Specialist Training Program (STP), which is of importance especially for community palliative care training in Australia. STP funding has occurred for a number of years, with no confirmation as yet of ongoing funding past 2016.

Palliative Medicine Medical Oncology Term Changes

Medical Oncology term changes are on track for implementation from 2017. Paperwork is being finalised with an information document being prepared to be provided to Chapter trainees and the rest of the Fellowship.

Communication Skills Workshop

The working group met on 22 February 2016 and progress was being made in determining how to train more facilitators and for expansion of works hops over a 12-18 month timeframe.

Spirituality Training

The Training Committee and Chapter Committee are supportive of further development of spirituality training. Members were keen to keep up the motivation and momentum that was building in this area. Clin/Prof Bridge would be running additional ANZSPM spirituality training workshops in 2016.

RACGP Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice - Advanced Rural Skills Training Curriculum for Palliative Care Consultation

The AChPM Committee was given the opportunity to provide feedback on this new curriculum, but have requested to be kept informed of progress as the curriculum is rolled out.

Policy and advocacy

Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party

The Chapter Committee was satisfied that at least one Palliative Medicine physician had submitted an expression of interest to be part of this working group and Committee members were encouraged to do so as well if they were interested. (At the time of release of this Communique, expressions of interest are no longer open).

End of Life Working Party

A/Prof Bill Silvester attended the Chapter Committee meeting as an invited guest and thanked the Committee for their recent contributions to the End of Life Care Position Statement case studies. The End of Life Working Party had received significant feedback from the internal RACP consultation on this position statement, which will be launched at RACP Congress in May.

Palliative Sedation Position Statement

Chapter Committee members had some concerns about having different groups working on different policies and it was agreed that the End of Life Working Party should collaborate with ANZSPM to contribute to ANZSPM's body of work in this area to avoid duplication. Enquiries are being made as to whether this is possible.



Dr David Holden attended as a proxy for ANZSPM President, Dr Carol Douglas. The Memorandum of Understanding with New Zealand has been reviewed to clarify collaboration. There has been ongoing work with decision assist, the position statement on palliative sedation, CPD and input into New Zealand and trainee support teleconferences. Trainees in New Zealand have indicated that they are feeling very supported by these new initiatives.

Fellows' Update – ANZSPM 2016 Conference

The ANZSPM 2016 Conference will take place from 8–11 September in Perth. Dr Simon Allan, incoming AChPM President will run a Fellows’ Update session to be held on Sunday 11 September from 7:45am to 8:45am.

All AChPM Fellows attending the conference are invited to attend and more details will be available closer to the date.

The next meeting of the AChPM Committee will take place on Friday 29 April  2016 at the College's Sydney office.

Clinical Professor Doug Bridge, President
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
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