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Improving End of Life Care for Children

The Annual Paediatric Palliative Care Symposium will be held on 4th March featuring guest speakers from the USA, UK and New Zealand. Participants will attend from many countries.

David Browning, from Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, will speak on difficult conversations in healthcare.

"Traditionally doctors have not been trained in difficult discussions with families." said Dr John Collins, Head of Department, Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. "This is even more so in regards to the end of life care for a child."

In the days following the symposium, Mr Browning will be a running a series of workshops for staff at The Children's Hospital at Westmead on communicating with children and their families at the time of end-of-life decision making.

"For the first time, workshops will not only involve actors trained in medical communication, but also will be held in our paediatric simulation centre. This high tech centre, with computerised mannequins,  recreates a realistic clinical environment.  The workshops will emphasise the importance of the patient and family perspectives. " 

Sherene Hassan, will present on Islam and Health Care at the Symposium. She is a cross cultural trainer and will help participants understand the world view of Moslems and how this relates to the healthcare of children.

Renee McCulloch is a consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine at Great Ormond St Hospital in London and will talk on models of care for children with neuromuscular disorders.

Ross Drake, is a consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine at Starship Children's Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand will deliver a major talk on pain management in children and will lead workshops on this topic.

There will be presentations from Bear Cottage, an initiative of The Children's Hospital at Westmead's Pain  Medicine and Palliative Care Department, and Very Special Kids Hospice in Victoria.

"Paediatric palliative medicine is a relatively new area of specialisation in paediatrics. Services for children around Australia are in the early phases of development. Great interest has been shown in this Symposium as their is huge demand for education"


This document was released on Tuesday, 9 March, 2010

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