The Palliative Aged Care Outcomes Program was launched in 2021 in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety. Learn more about PACOP’s history, objectives and our team.
The national team and collaborating researchers from the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration have been working in conjunction with residential aged care for some time. This work was supported by a philanthropic grant in 2019 from the J.O and J.R Wicking Trust, which enabled early development, modification and piloting of the ‘PCOC Wicking Model’ for Residential Aged Care in a number of aged care homes.
In 2021, AHSRI was awarded grant funding under the Australian Government’s program ‘Primary Health Care Quality and Coordination: Improving Palliative Care Training and Outcomes in Aged Care’. This funding has enabled the creation of PACOP as a sister centre to the well-established PCOC, with the aim of systematically improving palliative care outcomes for people in aged care homes and their families.
This new program aims to systematically improve the end of life and palliative and care outcomes of residents in aged care homes, including pain, symptom control and psychosocial distress and the outcomes for resident’s informal carers and family. The program is made up of three modules—the Profile Collection, the Outcomes Collection and Snapshot Collections. The use of standardised clinical assessments at the resident’s bedside to inform the required care is the essence of the program. An added benefit of PACOP is the use of the assessment information to drive improvements in the care that residents and their carers receive at an organisational level. PACOP builds on the significant experience we have had in PCOC in driving improvements in outcomes in palliative care. PACOP will benefit all Australians in residential aged care by providing a consistent and nationally agreed framework which drives resident, provider, policy and systems-level improvements in palliative and end of life care.
Get to know our team
- Professor Claire Johnson, National Director
- Alanna Connolly, Statistician and Research Fellow
- Stephen Moules, Associate Research Fellow
- Bronwyn Arthur, Improvement Facilitator
- Kaitlyn Thorne, Improvement Facilitator
- Laura Bryce, Improvement Facilitator
- Natalie Joseph, Improvement Facilitator
- Renee Millen, Improvement Coordinator
- Max Grigg, Data and IT Technical Support Officer
- Zoe Knight, Senior Administrative Officer
- Julieanne Young, Administrative Assistant
Professor Claire Johnson (RN, PhD) is the National Director of the Palliative Aged Care Outcomes Program (PACOP). Claire led the national implementation of the PCOC/Wicking model for Residential Aged Care. As the recent Vivian Bullwinkel Chair of Palliative Care Nursing (Monash University - Nursing and Midwifery) and Clinical Lead for End of Life Care (Eastern Health, Melbourne, Australia), Claire directed an extensive portfolio of clinical, behavioural and translational research. This research has helped to improve the quality and safety of care, and outcomes for people diagnosed with a life-limiting illnesses and of their families and carers, irrespective of the setting of care. Claire’s experience in clinical settings, research and leading change has equipped her to promote excellence in the care of people dying in residential aged care.
Alanna has worked with the Palliative Care Outcomes collaboration (PCOC) for eight years within both the data management and analysis areas of this program. Alanna has been highly involved will all aspects of the data and analysis over this time. Prior to this, Alanna worked in quality control and analysis within the manufacturing industry which included the cleaning, analysis and interpretation of large datasets. Alanna is an experienced statistician and data manager with considerable experience working with raw data in various formats to create meaningful datasets that can be used in data analysis, reporting and for research purposes. Alanna has joined PACOP to apply her expertise of collecting palliative care data within the aged care sector.
Stephen first joined AHSRI in 2019 as a Research Assistant. He currently provides Analysis/Statistics support PACOP. Stephen has obtained a Master of Statistics and a Bachelor of Science (Physics) at the University of Wollongong.
Bronwyn Arthur joined PACOP as an Improvement Facilitator in March 2022. She holds a Master’s Degree in Palliative Care in Aged Care. Bronwyn is a Registered Nurse, and has worked in various roles in her career, namely as a Clinical Educator and a Clinical Nurse Practitioner. Her main focus has been in the care of people living with dementia and end of life care; she has a history of working in palliative care, the acute setting and in aged care homes.
Kaitlyn is has over 10 years’ experience as a registered nurse, graduating from the Queensland University of Technology in 2012 with a Bachelor of Nursing. She has extensive experience in aged care and palliative care, both in the community and care home setting. Kaitlyn has also spent significant time working in the not-for-profit and charity sector in Queensland. In 2022, she graduated from the University of Tasmania with Graduate Diploma of Health Services Management.
Laura has over 12 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and has worked across all areas of health service delivery including tertiary hospitals, primary care and aged care settings. During this time Laura has developed a passion for education and quality improvement and completed her Masters of Nursing Degree with a major in Clinical Education. Laura’s most recent roles include working in Clinical Management positions within Aged Care where she was responsible for planning and overseeing clinical care delivery, multidisciplinary collaboration, clinical policy development, and quality improvement programs.
Natalie Joseph is an Improvement Facilitator with PACOP. She is a registered nurse with over 13 years experience in a variety of clinical settings. This includes working in residential aged care for 6 years as the Clinical Lead for a large aged care organisation during which time she was responsible for setting up and providing clinical direction and governance for a dedicated palliative care unit. She has over 3 years experience working as an Improvement Facilitator for PCOC and was involved in the development of the PCOC Wicking program. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care from Flinders University.
Renee joined the PACOP team in January 2024 as an improvement coordinator to support the development of palliative care within the Southern NSW Local Health District. Renee has a background as a Diversional Therapist, Registered Nurse, Extended Care Paramedic and in the planning and delivery of Palliative and End of Life care education. She has a passion in aged care where she has experience working with multidisciplinary teams to ensure people live well in their homes or in residential care.
Max has worked for the AHSRI IT Team for over three years as IT support for the outcome centres including the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) and the electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOC). Max joined PACOP in January 2023 as Data and IT Technical Support Officer after assisting in the design and development of palCentre for PACOP. Max brings his in-depth understanding of palCentre and IT to support aged care homes implement palCentre.
Zoe joined AHSRI in 2022 and provides administrative support to the Palliative Aged Care Outcomes Program.
PACOP will support aged care homes to identify those residents and, by extension, their families with palliative care needs and ensure care is responsive to these needs. We will help aged care organisations embed standardised outcomes assessment and to use it to improve the quality of care for the dying.Professor Claire Johnson Image description: Dr Claudia Bausewein (left) and Professor Claire Johnson (right) at the PCOC Outcomes and Benchmarking Conference 2019
Palliative Aged Care Outcomes Program
c/o Australian Health Services Research Institute
Building 234 (iC Enterprise 1)
University of Wollongong
WOLLONGONG NSW 2522
Phone: (+61) 02 4239 4151
Fax: (+61) 02 4221 4679