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Working together to support locals with life-limiting illnesses

‘Palliative care’ is the provision of specialist care for people of all ages facing a life-limiting condition supporting them, their whānau and carers, through illness, death, and bereavement. Palliative care is provided wherever the person is, whether that is in the home, in aged residential care, in hospital or in hospice inpatient care.

Palliative care in Golden Bay is provided via a professional collaboration between Golden Bay Community Health and Nelson Tasman Hospice that ensures patients living in Golden Bay receive the best care possible.

The team at Golden Bay Community Health are the lead provider, providing experienced care co-ordination for patients coping with life-limiting illness. Nelson Tasman Hospice’s level of involvement is based on the needs of the patient and their family, we are often involved right from diagnosis. The Nelson Tasman Hospice team works collaboratively with the Golden Bay Community Health team (District Nurses, In-patient nurses, and GP’s) and their patients providing clinical oversight, direct specialist care and professional development.

The clinical oversight includes weekly zoom meetings with Senior Medical Officer Dr Juliet Fleming or Medical Director and Palliative Medicine Consultant Dr Jodie Battley where they provide specialist clinical oversight for palliative care patients in Golden Bay. Dr Juliet travels to Golden Bay monthly where she meets with patients alongside the Golden Bay Community Health District Nurses and the in-patient team at GBCH The District Nurses, in-patient nurses and GPs at Golden Bay Community Health have 24/7 specialist support provided by Nelson Tasman Hospice via phone or video consultation. In addition, one of our Nurse Educators is regularly in Golden Bay working with the District Nurses, the nurses in the Aged Care Facility and patients to upskill and support the team in providing excellent palliative care.

Golden Bay patients can also access our Specialist Palliative Care Unit at the Hospice in Nelson when required. Family/whānau can access our onsite accommodation unit Kowhai House, which is situated on-site and available to whānau/families who have travelled to support a loved one admitted to inpatient unit.

Golden Bay Community Health District Nurse Jean Bensemann reflects; “In the last 12 months we have had a number of complex patients that we were caring for. Dr Juliet had been involved in their care throughout and due to complexity, the decision was made to move them to the Specialist Palliative Care Unit at Nelson Tasman Hospice. Because the patient and their whānau already knew Dr Juliet, it was a seamless transition for them and the feedback from the care and support was amazing. As someone from Golden Bay it means everything to me that we, with the clinical specialist oversight and services of Nelson Tasman Hospice, can care for our Golden Bay community, and often means that they can die in their homes, where they want to be.”

Nelson Tasman Hospice also provides education and professional development, including monthly breakfast sessions provided by the experienced Nurse Educators from the Nelson Tasman Hospice Education Team as well as bi-annual Palliative Care for Rural District Nurses Workshops which brings together all rural District Nurses and provides an opportunity to explore challenges of palliative care in rural context.

Another service that is provided is the use of specialist equipment for people to use in their homes. This includes equipment such as specialist beds, syringe drivers and Multi-C-Air Chair pressure cushions.

All these services are provided to the community free of charge; however, it does cost to provide them. At present we receive 52% of our annual operating costs from Te Whatu Ora, Health New Zealand, Nelson Marlborough, the remaining 48% must be fundraised every year. We could not continue providing these services without the generosity of our community, without support from businesses, grants and vitally, our Hospice Shops. 100% of Hospice fundraising in Nelson Tasman supports hospice services in our community and stays in Nelson Tasman.

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