Otago Community Hospice and Upper Clutha Hospice Trust collaborate to provide best care for locals
Otago Community Hospice (OCH) and the Upper Clutha Hospice Trust (UCHT) are working in collaboration to meet the needs of the Upper Clutha community.
Otago Community Hospice is the current provider of community-based specialist palliative care services to Upper Clutha residents.
‘‘Hospice’’ is a range of services rather than a facility and these services are delivered by specially trained staff to people who are dying and who have complex needs.
These needs may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. OCH staff work alongside local care providers such as aged care providers, hospital staff, GPs or District Nurses.
The Otago Community Hospice supports its patients where ever they want to be, and for most of them, that’s at home.
The aim of the OCH is to keep patients in their own environment, symptom-free, for as long as possible.
Seventy per cent of patients on the Hospice programme will never need to be admitted to the OCH inpatient unit.
This is primarily due to the level of specialist care the organisation is able to deliver in the community.
The Otago Community Hospice also provides support and education to primary palliative care providers, when required, to care for their patients.
All OCH services are provided free of charge and it costs approximately $175,000 to run the service each year for Central Otago residents.
Approximately 67 per cent of this is funded by the Southern District Health Board. In the Central Otago region, the OCH has three care coordinators, each with specialist skills in palliative care.
The local team is supported by the wider multiprofessional team of doctors, nurses, counsellors, a spiritual care worker and a social worker to deliver holistic community care.
All patients, families and local care providers have access to specialist telephone advice 24/7.
There are times where it is appropriate for patients to have an admission to a care facility for symptom management such as when the patient’s needs are complex or to provide respite for family members.
This need was identified by local residents and the Upper Clutha Hospice Trust was established to address this need with a local solution.
The Upper Clutha Hospice Trust plans to establish a palliative and respite care facility in the Wanaka.
The Trustees hope to secure space in the Aged care Complex that the developers of the Aspiring Lifestyle Retirement Village plan to build at the Village in 2014-15.
The space will initially comprise of a single palliative bedroom with an adjoining family room equipped for family to stay with the patient.
The Trustees are seeking the option to add a second palliative bedroom if needed in future.
The nursing, catering, laundry, cleaning support of the UCHT’s rooms are to be provided by the operator of the Aged Care Complex under contract to the Trust.
It is expected that the patient’s medical care will continue to be provided by their own GP, but with support as necessary from clinicians at Dunstan Hospital and the Otago Community Hospice.
The Otago Community Hospice will offer educational opportunities to the care staff in the facility.
The Trustees hope that the proposed facility can be operational in late 2015.
The OCH is supportive of the UCHT proposal and is absolutely committed to supporting what the UCHT are trying to achieve and will continue to ensure local residents have access to specialist palliative care services.
The Otago Community Hospice’s Annual Street Appeal is on Friday, 16 May 2014.
This year, OCH and UHCT will work together and funds raised will be shared by both Trusts to support the delivery of current services and help develop new services.
Both organisations are committed to ongoing cooperation and collaboration.
Care coordinators for Central Otago: L-R: Christine Pacey, Louisa Ingham, Natalie Franklin.