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SA&NT faculty

Notice: New state-wide Palliative Care Referral Form

The Palliative Care Clinical Network has announced the launch of a new state-wide referral form for accessing paediatric and adult specialist palliative care services within metropolitan and country South Australia.

A PDF version and clinical software template, for use with GP desktop software, are available for download on the SA Health website.

Completed forms can be faxed to the relevant palliative care service and will be processed within working hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Development of the state-wide referral form is the first, of a number of initiatives, currently being progressed by the Palliative Care Clinical Network to help create a more consistent approach to palliative care service provision and enhanced profile amongst service users and referrers. These initiatives are in line with the State-wide Palliative Care Services Plan 2009-2016.

The form defines who is eligible for services and the reasons for referring to specialist palliative care. If you have any queries, please contact your local specialist palliative care service on the details outlined on page two of the form.

Key information for referrers

  • The two page referral form outlines the eligibility criteria, reasons for referral and service contacts across metropolitan and country South Australia.
  • Incomplete referral forms or absence of essential additional information will delay the service response and may mean the referral is not accepted until all required information is received.
  • If there is other relevant patient information that is not specified on the form, but would assist in care provision, please include with the form.
  • If the matter is urgent, you are encouraged to phone your local palliative care service.
  • If the referral does not meet the criteria, but you feel the patient would benefit from palliative care, please contact your local palliative care service and discuss with a member of the team.
  • Referring health professionals still have the option of completing a referral letter detailing the same information outlined on the form.
  • It is anticipated that the State-wide Palliative Care Clinical Network will undergo an initial review of the form six months following implementation.

If you have any queries, please contact your local specialist palliative care service on the details outlined on page two of the referral form.

For more information contact:

State-wide Palliative Care Clinical Network
Country Health SA Local Health Network
Level 2, 22 King William Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: 08 8226 6603
Mobile: 0457 526 389

Notice to GPs: Important legislative change pertaining to doctors issuing certificates for burial and cremation

Please be advised that the South Australian Burial and Cremation Act 2013 and the Burial and Cremation Regulations 2014 (The Act) comes into operation on 1 February 2014.

GPs are asked to note the following:

  • it is an offence (the maximum penalty for which is imprisonment for 4 years) for a doctor to give a certificate of cause of death knowing that he or she has a pecuniary or other interest in the estate of the deceased (see section 14(2) of The Act)
  • in the case of death by natural causes where the deceased is to be buried, there is a new partial certificate of cause of death that will need to be completed by the doctor. This partial certificate must be sighted by a cemetery authority before burial can occur (see section 12 of The Act)
  • there are new provisions dealing with identification of remains prior to removal from the place of death. Funeral directors are unable to move the bodily remains within the place of death or move the bodily remains from the place of death unless a permanent identification tag is attached. If the tag is attached by the medical practitioner responsible for the deceased’s medical care immediately before death or another person who personally knew the deceased, then that person must also complete a certificate of identification
  • the type of identification tag to be used is defined by the registrar as 'an identification tag of adequate size and material to enable required information to be included in indelible ink and to ensure the identification tag cannot be easily removed from the body'. It must include the full name of the deceased person and the place of death, written in indelible ink and securely attached.

Download the information sheet notes for doctors, which explains the forms required for burial and cremation, including when they should be used and who they should be completed by. Further information is available on the Consumer and Business Services SA website.

If you require copies of the new forms, please email

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