Mundipharma Pty Limited rolls out first of its kind aged care initiative with Catholic Healthcare.

45–93% of residents in aged care facilities have chronic pain (1,2), but research has also shown that there is a disconnect between the nursing record of pain and the residents’ reporting of pain (1,3). The PANACEA™ (Pain Advocacy Nurse in Aged Care, for Education & Assessment) program was created to support aged care facilities in identifying and managing pain appropriately, with the aim of improving resident outcomes.

This project is a Mundipharma led initiative, designed to assist with implementation of best practice pain management guidelines in aged care.

“Appropriate pain management through a multimodal approach is something that we fully support and encourage. This program was developed as part of our ongoing commitment to improving resident care, and we are excited to be rolling it out with a number of aged care facilities in the next few months.” Said Justin Tan, PANACEA™ Program Manager at Mundipharma Australia.

The expected outcomes of the program are to improve care for residents experiencing pain, enhance training and education for staff and increase empowerment of staff, including care workers, in regards to chronic pain.

The quality improvement program explores six major themes around pain management strategies; pain identification, treatment strategies, pain management education, service resources and operational processes. The program also aims to ensure there is common language used around chronic pain and an efficient flow of information between carers and healthcare professionals.

Last week, Catholic Healthcare was the first aged care organisation to roll-out PANACEA™. Their nurses and staff are receiving education to achieve improvements in identifying, assessing, and responding to chronic pain appropriately, in-line with the Australian Pain Society, Pain in residential aged care: Management strategies best practice guidelines.

Anne Maree Hodgson General Manager, Residential Care at Catholic Healthcare said: “As people age, the incidence and prevalence of pain increases, and it can be difficult to assess the cause of pain and its severity in older people, particularly people living with dementia. It is an area of concern for aged care organisations, registered nurses and care staff who are providing care and support for the elderly.”

As part of this initiative, Catholic Healthcare now has 14 registered nurses who were recently up-skilled as pain coordinators. They all have access to best practice guidelines, information and resources and will be able to provide support in the area of pain across their residential aged care services.

The program is available for registration to all aged care organisations Australia wide and is offered at no charge to these organisations.


1 Abdulla A, et al. Guidance on the management of pain in older people. Age and Ageing 2013; 42:i1-i57.
2 AGS Panel on persistent pain in older persons. The management of persistent pain in older persons. JAGS 2002;50:S205-S224.
3 McClean WJ, Higginbotham NH. Prevalence of pain among nursing home residents in rural New South Wales. Med J Aust 2002;177:17-20.

Source: Catholic Healthcare

About Catholic Healthcare
Catholic Healthcare was established in 1994 by the Bishops of NSW and the ACT for the purpose of providing aged, health and community services. Today Catholic Healthcare operates 41 residential aged care services and 10 retirement living communities in New South Wales and South East Queensland, operates two healthcare services and provides services to over 6,500 persons in the community. The not-for-profit works with older people, people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, people with a disability or mental illness and their carers.

For media inquiries or further information about Catholic Healthcare, please contact:
Marcela Cuevas – Media and communications, Ph: 0428 777 215


For more information about Mundipharma or the PANACEA™ program, contact:

Judith McIvor – PANACEA Program Facilitator (NSW), Ph: 0439 942 595,

Deborah Hughes – PANACEA Program Facilitator (VIC), Ph. 0427 103 813,