Q&A with Prof. Phillip Good – October 2023

ABC Workshop October 2023 – Prof. Phillip Good

Prof Phillip Good, from St Vincent’s Private Hospital, answers questions about the various aspects of palliative care. ABCG Workshop October 2023.

Q1 - What is palliative care and how do you get referred?

Professor Phillip Good provides a clear explanation of palliative care and addresses common misconceptions about the service. He also discusses the process of referrals, emphasising the importance of the relationship between the patient, the caregiver, and the referrer.

Q2 - About carers

Professor Phillip Good shares some profound insights into the lives of carers, exploring the challenges they encounter and their own emotional experiences in this role. He reveals the prevalent sense of guilt experienced by many carers, while also explaining the underlying reasons behind this common and natural feeling.

Q3 - How do you get referred to palliative care?

It is stressed by Professor Phillip Good that a doctor, be it a specialist or a general practitioner, should be the one to refer a patient to palliative care services. He explores the effects of early versus late referrals on a patient’s quality of life and underlines the holistic support that palliative care can offer.

Q4 - Supportive care

In relation to the term ‘palliative care’, Professor Phillip Good highlights the fact that although alternative names are used to refer to this service, he tries to clarify what is involved when asked, regardless of the terminology used.

Q5 - When is the right time to reach out to palliative care?

Professor Phillip Good explores the factors that should be considered when thinking about contacting palliative care and shares his views and some benefits of contacting the service earlier rather than later.

Q6 - What are your thoughts on CBD oil and alternative medication?

Professor Phillip Good starts by clarifying that CDB oil that is prescribed is not an ‘alternative’ medication. He notes that every prescription will have identical quantities of CBD in it, whereas this cannot be guaranteed with non-prescribed forms of cannabis. He also touches on the mistaken idea that cannabis cures cancer - there is no evidence of this - and he would be concerned if people chose untested medications as an ‘alternative’ to proven treatments.

Q7 - What are the services available to patients living in remote areas?

Professor Phillip Good provides an overview of the telehealth palliative care service offered in rural Queensland. He details the operational process of the service and outlines the referral procedure for patients.

Q8 - End of life care at home

In his findings, Professor Phillip Good discusses the statistics surrounding patients who die at home. He delves into the factors that influence where patients die and advises early preparation for those who have a preference to die in the comfort of their home.

Q9 - Services for partners

Professor Phillip Good touches upon the available support for carers, both during the illness of the person they care for and after their death. He discusses the emotional difficulties that carers, particularly men, have to deal with and stresses the significance of finding a service that is well-suited to the individual’s needs. Dr. Rebecca Moor contributes by sharing certain services that have proven beneficial to caregivers of her patients.

Q10 - How does palliative care at home works?

Professor Phillip Good explains what a community palliative care service is and how it works. He explains the specialised skills that are available, such as counsellors and physiotherapists, and touches on equipment requirements. He then elaborates on the potential difficulties that patients and caregivers may encounter when administering care from home.