Nowra’s Junction Street Family Practice will soon have strengthened its integrated palliative and end of life care capacity, thanks to federal government funding.
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COORDINARE South Eastern NSW PHN CEO Dianne Kitcher said the funding was part of a broader project aimed at supporting improved capacity, coordination and partnerships between providers of palliative and end of life care in South Eastern NSW.
“All local health care providers were invited to submit an expression of interest to participate in the project, and we congratulate the three successful applicants, including Junction Street Family Practice in Nowra which has been selected for this round of funding,” Ms Kitcher said.
“The practice will be work with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and two local aged care facilities (RACF) in Nowra to streamline the way end of life care is provided to local residents.”
An important aspect of the model will be improving communication channels between RACF staff, palliative care staff, NSW Ambulance paramedics and the practice team, as well as clear care planning for patients who have a terminal condition or are advancing in age.
Advance care plans help ensure that the patients’ preferences, beliefs and values about health care are known and respected if they are too unwell to speak for themselves.
They also benefit those who are close to them as research has shown that families of people who have done advance care planning have less anxiety and stress when asked to make important healthcare decisions for other people.
“The project will ensure that advance care plans include a NSW Ambulance authorised palliative care plan, where appropriate,” Ms Kitcher said.
“In addition, case conferencing will be used among care providers and medication reviews will be undertaken for all patients on a care plan to ensure unnecessary medications are de-prescribed or rationalised.
“There will be a streamlined point of contact within the practice for patients, carers and external providers to call for advice, guidance and triage, as well as communication with the required team members to provide clarity and continuity of care in the end of life process.”
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