Rural and remote Australians have difficulty accessing specialist medical services. In particular, there is a paucity of specialist palliative care provision in rural and remote Queensland.
A Queensland Health initiative provided funding under the Care in the Right Setting "CaRS" program to try and address this unmet need. To improve access to specialist palliative care, a novel model of care was developed by the Queensland palliative care collaborative group in January 2020. The model incorporates telehealth consultation, 24 hour phone support as well as statewide access to palliative care equipment through a medical aids subsidy system.
This presentation will describe the development of our model of care, the implementation across Queensland since May 2020 and preliminary outcome data.
Statewide engagement with key stakeholders has been critical to the success of this project. Early data and feedback from patients and clinicians suggest that this model is feasible for bridging the gap for rural and remote Australians to access specialist palliative care. Future work will involve other multidisciplinary team members including oncologists.