Palliative Care

Every South Island resident will die, and all will be witness to the care and treatment of loved ones at the end of their lives. Deaths happen in all care settings, across all medical disciplines and in all age groups. Ensuring those who are dying, and their families/whānau, receive “high quality, person centred, palliative and end-of-life care” is everyone’s responsibility. The South Island Alliance Palliative Care Workstream (PCW) was established by the South Island Alliance Programme Office (SIAPO) in 2014 and brings together health experts from all five DHBs to work collaboratively on improving palliative care systems, services and resources in the South Island.

Vision of the South Island Alliance Palliative Care Workstream: 

‘High quality, person centred, palliative and end-of-life care is available to everyone in the South Island according to need and irrespective of location.’

The following five key goals were identified at our Planning Day in December 2018:

  1. Excellent primary palliative care is available in the community with 24/7 access to appropriate medical support and medications
  2. Information sharing is available and consistent across all South Island points of care
  3. All hospital staff understand the palliative approach and can prioritise and deliver high quality, person-centred palliative and end-of-life care according to need
  4. Psychosocial support is available to everyone
  5. All our communities are accessing relevant, timely and consistent palliative and end-of-life education that informs, empowers, builds relationships, and makes a measurable difference

Members of the PCW are appointed by the South Island Alliance Leadership Team for a minimum term of three years. The Workstream is made up of clinicians and stakeholders from around the region (supported by the SIAPO Facilitator for Palliative Care), and includes representatives from primary care, hospice, ARC, community and hospital care, as well as members with paediatric, consumer and Māori health perspectives. Members meet monthly to identify and progress key projects that will improve palliative and end-of-life care for everyone in the South Island with a focus on:

  • Reducing barriers to care
  • Improving clinical practice in all care settings
  • Meeting the needs of our increasing and aging population, and
  • Ensuring timely and equitable access to Specialist Palliative Care services (Hospice and Hospital Palliative Care Teams) when appropriate.

Terms of Reference


  • 09 Jul 2020

      News 09 Jul 2020 We are looking for two new members to join the South Island Alliance Palliative Care Workstream (PCW) who have strong understandings of palliative care and a desire to shape the development and delivery of services across the South Island (SI). We are specifically interested in recruiting doctors, nurses, allied health, planning […]

  • 25 May 2020

    News 25 May 2020 As I start to return to my usual role, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the last couple of weeks and acknowledge and thank the vast number of people in Canterbury DHB who have poured countless hours in to supporting the patients, families and staff of Rosewood Rest […]

  • 28 Feb 2019

    News 28 Feb 2019 From left: Palliative Care Facilitator Jo Hathaway, Dr Kate Grundy, and the new Palliative Care Workstream Chair Dr David Butler. Palliative Care Workstream champion Dr Kate Grundy has stepped down from her role as Chair of the group, which she has expertly steered since it was established in 2014. Fortunately, Kate has agreed […]