Palliative Care Victoria Inc (PCV) is the peak body representing palliative care providers, consumers, their families and those with an interest in palliative care in Victoria.
PCV was established in 1981, when palliative care was in its infancy in Victoria. Initially known as the Victorian Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, it was incorporated in 1991 and changed to its current name in 1997.
The primary functions of PCV are to meet the needs of its organisational and individual members and to assist the community through education, information and referral. Their mission is to influence, foster and promote the delivery of quality palliative care for all who need it.
To assist them in this goal, a state conference is convened for members every two years. The aim of this conference is to provide leadership and professional development, inform policy, raise public awareness and to foster collaboration. With the support of the Foundation, in August 2012 the eighth Biennial State Conference, titled Shaping the Future of Palliative Care, was held in Melbourne.
The Foundation specifically funded the attendance of keynote speaker Professor Ilora Finlay at the event. The UK currently leads the world in palliative care. Professor Finlay provided insights into the successes and lessons of the UK End of Life Care Strategy and Gold Standards Framework.
Professor Ilora Finlay, Baroness of Llandaff, is highly regarded for her clinical, policy and service development leadership in palliative care and health services in the UK. Her current appointments include: Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University; Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Team Leader for Chronic Pain Services, Velindre NHS Trust, Oncology Centre, Cardiff; and Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Marie Curie Cancer Care. She is also an independent cross bench member of the House of Lords.
The conference provided a stimulating program that inspired, challenged and empowered attendees to be pioneers, leaders and change-makers in their respective spheres of influence to achieve the best possible quality of life for people approaching and reaching the end of life.
Over 350 people attended the two day conference facilitated by Julie McCrossin. It generated significant media buzz and received very positive feedback from those who were a part of it.
According to a survey of 188 participants, over 95 per cent of delegates were satisfied with Professor’s Finlay’s sessions and overall satisfaction with the conference was very high. Delegates were very satisfied with the program sessions, and how the conference was organized and facilitated.
A podcast of Professor Finlay's keynote address can be heard here.
Whilst in Australia, Professor Finlay made herself available for a number of engagements and interviews. She met with MPs and a number of health care organisations and professionals and was interviewed on ABC Radio National.
A podcast of an interview with Natasha Mitchell on Life Matters is also available.
From attending delegates:
"I deal with companionship and connection and today the panels and discussions resonated strongly with me about the paramount importance of patients. When I listen and show genuine interest in a dying person’s story – they become aware of the relevance and importance of their own life. They’re still alive, active and useful.” Tony Morgan, Volunteer
“The future is coming and palliative care will look different to what it looks now. What encouraged me is the fabulous leadership across the sector. You don’t need to be in the department, or wear a suit to make an impact.” Sonia Fullerton, Eastern Health