New Hospital Palliative Care Service in place
A new hospital palliative care service means patients with a serious illness will now receive more support from palliative care specialists.
Palliative care focuses on relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness, with a goal to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.
The service is offered in partnership with Nelson Tasman Hospice and follows a six month pilot in 2016.
Cathy O’Malley, General Manager –Strategy, Primary & Community says the new Hospital Palliative Care service is very similar to the pilot but with extended hours and senior medical involvement. She says it’s designed to get the right clinical expertise to the right person at the right time, avoiding delays at a period when time is of the essence.
“A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in Palliative Care can support the clinical team with advice on symptom management, or they can help facilitate quicker discharge planning for the patient, either back to the hospice or their home, ensuring community follow up is in place,” she says.
“The CNS also discusses end-of-life plans, including developing an Advance Care Plan, and they support the person and their whanau with the bereavement and grief process.”
The Hospital Palliative Care service includes input from a Senior Medical Officer to support the CNS and the medical team.
Palliative Care Specialist Dr Jodie Battley supports Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialists Zarina Palamountain and Annie Wallace to see patients Monday to Friday at Nelson Hospital.
O’Malley says the hospital multi-discipline teams have responded well to the service as it enables positive outcomes for complex palliative pain care in an acute setting.
“This is a living manifestation of the ‘one team’ strategy, focussed on the patient’s needs. Previously the acute clinical team could refer to hospice but they may or may not get to see the person prior to discharge.”
The new in-reach Hospital Palliative Care service was recommended by the end-of-life care group within the Models of Care programme and is strongly aligned with the model of care changes.
In particular, the goal to have a common palliative care model across Nelson and Marlborough to ensure equity across the region, while allowing localised differences where it makes sense and to accommodate scale.