Poster Presentation Palliative Care Nurses Australia Conference 2020

Giving a Voice to Palliative Care Nurses (#104)

Robyn Tumeth 1 , Jessica Scaife 1
  1. Palliative Care Unit, Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia


In early 2017, nursing staff within the Palliative Care Unit identified frustration with a lack of forums and opportunities to discuss and action issues impacting the inpatient team, often resulting in incorrect and/or misinterpreted information being circulated informally.


To improve communication and have a platform to voice and discuss issues that are relevant to the nurses in the Palliative Care Unit.


Led by 2 senior nurses,  nurse-led staff meetings were established fortnightly in the Inpatient Unit in March 2017.

Frontline nurses set the agenda and chair the meetings. All team members encouraged to contribute. Agenda items can be written on a white board in the meeting room at any time. Any nurse can add to the agenda.

Minutes are tabled and emailed to all staff. The Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) is present as a member of the team.


3 years of annual feedback have been collated evaluating our meetings.

2019 results: 95% staff stated they are more informed of what is happening within the Unit.

100% staff stated meetings allowed them to participate, identify issues, raise concerns and be engaged in decision making.

Throughout the past 3 years, 3 very distinct themes emerged from each survey:

1. Nurse have a chance to raise matters and express ideas and they are listened to

2. Nurses have a voice and they are heard with respect

3. Nurses are happy when they are kept informed

Following the success of the inpatient nurse-led meetings, nurse-led meetings were introduced into the Community Palliative Care nursing team, with similar results.


This has been an enormous change to the team and it has had a big impact.

Nurses have an increased ownership of their workplace and are working together in developing solutions to problems.

We are now receiving suggestions to improve the meetings and minutes.

Nurse-led staff meetings could be easily introduced to any unit.


Both communication and practice has improved since the introduction of nurse-led staff meetings.

Nurses are more informed and have a clearer direction.

Nurses feel empowered. This has created a positive culture within the team.