Mid North Coast Project Studies Advance Care Planning

Participants are being accepted for a Mid North Coast study into end-of-life care planning.

The Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) Coffs Clinical Network has received a grant to conduct translational research over the next two years.

The grant comes from the NSW Regional Health Partners Research Fund. It will be used to study and promote advance care planning in the MNCLHD.

Project lead is Dr Dan Curley (palliative care physician). The team consists of Beverley Morris and Kerry Bartlett (clinical nurse consultants) and Graeme Mooney (social worker).

Study participants

The study will enrol patients who are judged to be in their last year of life. This cohort includes patients with life-limiting illnesses such as chronic diseases, diabetes, renal failure, end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer and end-stage heart disease.

Referrals are being accepted from hospital staff and general practitioners.

Project aims

The project aims to increase the completion rate and quality of advance care directives (ACDs). It also seeks to:

  • Enhance the timely access to, and use of ACDs by health professionals through My Health Record.
  • Increase the match-up between patients’ advance care plans and the care actually delivered.
  • Assess place of death, days in hospital in the last six months of life, length of inpatient terminal admission and ICU admissions.
  • Improve patient and family engagement in end-of-life care planning.
  • Examine the self-reported influence of ACDs on the experience of families and carers.
  • Estimate the economic impact of increased ACD completion on health service use.

Project evaluation

A number of measures will be used to determine the project’s success. These include:

  • How well ACDs can be integrated within existing healthcare networks.
  • Qualitative feedback from patients/families on their experience of ACD discussions and end-of-life care planning.
  • The number of ACDs uploaded to My Health Record.
  • The accessibility of ACDs.
  • Cost savings to the health service by following patients’ recorded wishes.

For more information regarding referral criteria:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0455 982 767
Fax: (02) 6656 5454