Allied health staff can boost quality of life, safety, and promote successful discharge into the community.

Consider your patient's current situation and likely trajectory.

Allied health team members and their contributions to discharge planning

Pharmacy

  • Review of medicines.
  • Identification of medicines that are no longer beneficial or appropriate for the patient, are not desired by the patient, or both.
  • Summary of discharge medicines.
  • Coaching of patient and carer about discharge medicines.

Occupational therapy

  • Strategies to conserve energy and achieve important personal goals.
  • Relaxation (contributing to pain relief).
  • Organisation of equipment, such as pressure care devices and an electric bed.
  • Home assessment.

Physiotherapy

  • Improvement and preservation of strength.
  • Review of airway clearance and breathing exercises.
  • Relief of musculoskeletal pain.
  • Mobility and walking aids.
  • Home assessment.

Speech therapy

  • Management of impaired function, such as coughing with fluids.

Dietician

  • Strategies to minimise loss of weight and increase energy.
  • Strategies to prevent or relieve nausea and constipation.

Social work

Assistance with:

  • complex grief
  • children
  • advance care planning, powers of attorney and wills
  • finances and government benefits
  • housing
  • MyAgedCare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Pastoral and spiritual care

  • Listening and companionship.
  • Support with emotional and spiritual concerns.
  • Strategies to understand and manage feelings arising from the diagnosis and prognosis.
  • Help in thinking about and arranging the funeral.

Refer to Therapeutic Guidelines Palliative Care 2016 Version 4 on the Clinicians Health Channel at your health service.