This plan specifically authorises NSW Ambulance paramedics to deliver individually tailored treatment to patients based on their GP’s orders as documented in the plan.

Caring for an individual with palliative care needs can be a complex undertaking. At some stage in the progression of an individual’s illness, the decision may be made that further treatment is not indicated. At this point, ongoing medical care will aim to maintain comfort and function with an understanding that end of life is inevitable in the near future. An Authorised Palliative Care Plan is an appropriate response for individuals nearing end of life.

In the after hours period when sudden changes in health may lead to uncertainty, NSW Ambulance Triple Zero (000) service is commonly a first response. In the absence of detailed clinical knowledge about the patient, the paramedic’s response is protocol based and transfer to the hospital emergency department is generally required. This transfer is often not the optimal outcome in these situations and may be avoidable. For a patient with palliative care needs, transfer may be avoidable if the paramedic has access to an Authorised Palliative Care Plan.

The plan can be initiated by any members of a patient’s care-team, however final approval and signing prior to submission to NSW Ambulance is the responsibility of the treating GP. In the event of Triple Zero (000) call-out by the patient, the NSW Ambulance Authorised Adult Palliative Care Plan is initiated, and may include administration of medications and other actions to relieve and manage symptoms in the home.

For further information please discuss this with your GP and/or contact Amaranth Foundation.

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