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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 February 2016) . . Page.. 517 ..

The Calvary Specialist Community Palliative Care Service, headquartered at Clare Holland House, has a significant range of services being delivered for people needing palliation. The ACT hospice at Clare Holland House provides both inpatient accommodation and also respite care for patients. It is a calm and restful place. Patient rooms open to the outdoors and it has flexible access hours for patients to be supported by close family and friends. The team of specialist palliative care nurses and doctors contribute to the peaceful environment at Clare Holland House. In addition to providing the highest quality clinical care, those experienced practitioners guide and support family and patients through the physical and emotional challenges preceding end-of-life circumstances. The ACT hospice is a place where life is celebrated, and the later stages of life are treasured as much as any other moment on a person’s life journey.

The specialist palliative care outpatient clinics also enable patients who are mobile and independent to attend regular clinical reviews or seek treatment for a specific symptom or condition. Many patients enjoy the sense of independence, mobility and flexibility of the clinical service because it dispels the sense of being grounded or totally reliant on someone else coming to them. As you can see, Madam Speaker, we have a very comprehensive range of services when it comes to palliative care, and we are going to need to continue to build this capacity as our population grows and as it ages.

Another element of Ms Porter’s motion is in relation to recognising the importance of advance care planning. This is a process whereby a patient who is of adult age, in consultation with healthcare providers, family members and significant others, makes decisions about their future healthcare should they become incapable of participating in medical treatment decisions either temporarily or potentially permanently. This is an important framework to ensure that patients’ wishes are respected through the care and health treatment process.

There are three ways an advance care plan and people’s choices can be recorded: firstly, through an enduring power of attorney; secondly, by completing a statement of choices; and thirdly, by completing a health direction under the Medical Treatment (Health Directions) Act. The enduring power of attorney and health direction are legal documents which comply with the Medical Treatment (Health Directions) Act 2006. The statement of choices provides specific information relating to a person’s wishes and values. If choices about future care are known, they can be respected.

The government provided funding in the 2013-14 budget to support the respecting patient choices program and a tender to non-government organisations to develop and implement an advance care planning community education and awareness program. Healthcare Consumers ACT was the successful NGO and is in the second year of their delivery agreement with ACT Health.

When it comes to decisions about end-of-life care the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council is also playing a role. As Attorney-General I have made a referral to the council dealing with the terms and operation of the Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991. This inquiry includes examination of current policy trends in the

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