Goals of Care in the COVID-19 environment

“All will be cared for”

Goals of Care establishes the most medically appropriate, realistic, agreed goals of patient care that will apply in the event of clinical deterioration, during an episode of care. This clinical care planning process facilitates proactive shared discussion and decision-making between the clinician, patient and family/carer.

Below are a collection of resources for health professionals Goals of Care in the COVID-19 environment.

Goals of Care overview


Additional resources 

With thanks to Dr Nicholas Waldron, Consultant Geriatrician, together with the clinicians and ward staff at Armadale Health Service
Goals of Care conversations and communication tips
Clinical assessment tools

Supportive and Palliative Indicators Tool (SPICTTM)  

The SPICTTM is used to identify people with deteriorating health due to one or more advanced conditions. It guides holistic assessment and care planning.

SPICT for health professionals

SPICT for patients, family and professional carers

Additional resources 

The SPICT™ tool is available as a free app on iOS for iPhone and iPad, and as an app for Android.

The latest version of the SPICTTM app includes information about the SPICTTM, advice on how to assess and plan care for people identified with it, and tips on effective communication:

Note: all users are responsible for ensuring that they use the current version of SPICT-App and for any use they make of SPICT™ and SPICT™ website resources.

Train the trainer workshops
Goals of Care and end-of-life in the COVID-19 environment - Train the Trainer workshops – 19 March 2020 

The workshops facilitated by Dr Simon Towler, Intensivist, Fiona Stanley Hospital and WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Clinical Lead (End-of-Life Care) and Valerie Colgan, Staff Development Educator, Clinical Implementation Unit, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network.

Attendees identified useful clinical resources and current health service planning for training in this environment. The Workshops provide an opportunity for collective thinking and sharing to improve clinical training during COVID-19 management.

Dr Simon Towler’s presentations

  • Goals of Care and end-of-life in the COVID-19 environment introduction 
  • Goals of Care

Additional resources  

Grand round presentations – Royal Perth Hospital – 18 March 2020

Password: RPHPGME

Symptom control in end-of-life and palliative care

Evidence based clinical guidelines for adults in the terminal phase (second edition, Reprinted 2016 ) (PDF 1MB)

Developed by: WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network, Community Medications Project 2010

Five different symptoms covered are:

Spotlight on pharmacological interventions for palliative care symptoms: video resources

The following videos have been developed for personal professional development or use as an education resource:

Acknowledgements: Penelope Tuffin, Advanced Practice Pharmacist, Palliative Care and Pain Management, and the Cancer Council WA

Additional end of life and palliative care resources:

Ethical decision-making and professional support

Ethical challenges in health care are common even under normal conditions because health care responds to human suffering. To act ethically should be integral to professionalism in health care. However, professionals often experience uncertainty or distress about how to proceed during public health emergencies.

Last reviewed: 26-03-2020