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EOL Essentials Project News


Welcome to the April edition of End-of-Life Essentials news, keeping you informed with what’s happening in the project and end-of-life care. 

What’s New in the Project?

• Sector News

• Latest Evidence

• For Your Notice Board

• Next Newsletter

What's New in the Project?

Our Implementation Toolkit has now been released!

When changing practices and processes in the workplace, individuals and organisations can face the following challenges:
  • what is it that needs to be done?
  • how is the new process similar to, or different from, current work practices?
  • is the environment and culture ready for the new processes?
  • what is realistic and achievable?
MyToolkit brings together tools, resources, promotional materials and evidence that can encourage change/sustain new practices.
Register now for your End-of-Life Essentials Toolkit (only available for postage in Australia).

If you have forgotten your login details or have any other queries, please feel free to contact the End-of-Life Essentials project team at

Sector News

The 2017 Dying2Learn free open online course is now open for enrolment for anyone in Australia. Over five weeks the course will facilitate social discussion about death and dying and build community awareness of death as a normal process.

  • the language we use when we talk about dying
  • how and what people die from now
  • how art, music, and media have shaped our ideas on death
  • what happens in the digital world when we die
Join Dying2Learn now. Registration closes 23 April.
How does your ward or unit hand over a patient’s belongings to their family after death?

It’s not unusual for patients possessions to be passed back to their family in a plastic garbage bag.

An End-of-Life Care Committee from Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service have developed more sensitive and respectful handover bags, printed with a tree symbol designed to represent the cycle of life, to convey to family and staff that the patient was cared for and respected from the moment they arrived until the time they left.

The symbol also features on door signs which indicate to staff and visitors that a patient has died.

To use the symbol contact or read more about the handover bags.

Latest Evidence

Each month we will feature a few articles that cover topics relevant to end-of-life care in hospitals:

  • Ladin K, Buttafarro K, Hahn E, Koch-Weser S, Weiner DE. 'End-of-Life Care? I'm not Going to Worry About That Yet.' Health Literacy Gaps and End-of-Life Planning Among Elderly Dialysis Patients. Gerontologist. 2017 Mar 10. 

    How often do you consider health literacy when communicating with patients and families?  This study examined how health literacy may affect engagement, comprehension, and satisfaction with end-of-life conversations among elderly dialysis patients. Limited health literacy presents a substantial barrier to communication and could lead to older adults committing to an intensive pattern of care without adequate information. Clinicians should consider health literacy when discussing dialysis initiation.

For your Notice Board

Each month we will feature a fact sheet, a poster or other resources that you can print and share on your notice board or in your tearoom. This month we provide the useful guide to identify people at risk of deteriorating and dying, the SPICT. TM

Next Newsletter
May 2017 

The End-of-Life Essentials News is distributed on the first Wednesday of each month.

You are welcome to forward the newsletter to others who may be interested or follow this link to subscribe to the newsletter. To share something, please email

End-of-Life Essentials is based on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care, and the Commission provides ongoing advice to the project.

End-of-Life Essentials is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health
Copyright © 2017 End-of-Life Essentials, All rights reserved.