The Citizen (KZN) - - News - – bri­[email protected]­i­zen.co.za

The Western Cape, said Jenk­ins, had sev­eral met­ro­pol­i­tan hos­pi­tal-based pal­lia­tive care ser­vices, pro­vid­ing an ex­cep­tional ser­vice to pa­tients. But there was very lit­tle other com­pre­hen­sive end-of-life care ex­ist­ing in the prov­ince – es­pe­cially for peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas.

“Most pa­tients in ru­ral ar­eas who face prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses don’t have proper ac­cess to pal­lia­tive care ser­vices that can im­prove their qual­ity of life as well as that of their fam­i­lies,” said Jenk­ins.

In ad­dress­ing the short­com­ing, Jenk­ins and his fel­low re­searchers have de­vel­oped a pal­lia­tive care model that has been shared with the ru­ral districts and the chief di­rec­tor for ru­ral health in the prov­ince.

As part of the study, a multi-pro­fes­sional team con­sist­ing of a pal­lia­tive care-trained fam­ily medicine doc­tor, med­i­cal of­fi­cer, phys­io­ther­a­pist, psy­chol­o­gist and so­cial worker was formed to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween Ge­orge Re­gional Hos­pi­tal and the sub-district.

“The fact that a multi-pro­fes­sional team lis­tened and planned to­gether at the pa­tient’s bed­side has re­stored some of the dig­nity and ethos of pa­tient-cen­tred care, which is a core prin­ci­ple of the pro­vin­cial health care 2030 vi­sion.

“There’s a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion for how the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ences the ill­ness, al­low­ing for pa­tient au­ton­omy, fos­ter­ing re­spect and car­ing with com­pe­tence and em­pa­thy.

“Es­tab­lish­ing reg­u­lar multi-pro­fes­sional pal­lia­tive care ward rounds has changed the way pa­tients need­ing pal­lia­tive care are man­aged, par­tic­u­larly in chal­leng­ing the mind­sets of spe­cial­ist de­part­ments,” he said.

The ex­perts have de­vel­oped a pal­lia­tive care plan as a stan­dard­ised tool for the hos­pi­tal and sub-district, which is shared with pa­tients and reg­u­larly up­dated.

“We also de­vel­oped an elec­tronic book­let of lo­cal com­mu­nity re­sources in­volved in the care of ter­mi­nally ill peo­ple for staff and pa­tients to re­fer to.

“The team keeps a data­base of pal­lia­tive pa­tients in the area, en­sur­ing pa­tients are not lost in the sys­tem and build­ing a pro­file of lo­cal pal­lia­tive care needs,” said Jenk­ins.

The team keeps a data­base of pal­lia­tive pa­tients in the area

Pic­ture: Reuters

Re­li­gious lead­ers of the Is­raeli Ethiopian com­mu­nity take part in a cer­e­mony mark­ing the Ethiopian Jewish hol­i­day of Sigd in Jerusalem yes­ter­day.

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