Rotary club back campaign for palliative care facility
A dedicated palliative care facility is needed on the Central Coast, the Rotary Club of Umina Beach has been told.
Ms Anne Charlton from Elsie's Retreat told the Rotarians of the need in a talk at a recent Rotary meeting.
Following the talk, the Rotary Club of Umina offered its support for the fund raising and awareness raising efforts of Elsie's Retreat.
"Elsie was a registered nurse who died in a nursing home inappropriately in pain and her neighbour and good friend realised that it was not OK," Ms Charlton said.
"As a result of Elsie's death, the Lions Club of Tuggerah Shores took on fund raising for a stand-alone palliative care facility for the Central Coast," Ms Charlton said.
"Elsie's Retreat members have come together to support quality palliative care services for local residents regardless of their age or circumstances.
"We have a terrific community based service at the moment but it is stretched to its limits.
"We are the largest region in NSW that does not have its own stand-alone palliative care unit."
Ms Charlton told the Umina Rotary meeting that the needs of the patient, family and carer during their end of life period vary over time and care setting and so services need to be responsive, coordinated and flexible in meeting those changing needs.
"We propose to establish a specialty sub-acute stand-alone palliative care unit on the Central Coast to provide a group of services in the continuum of care required for patients experiencing a life-limiting illness within the Central Coast Local Health District.
"A stand-alone unit is a cost-effective solution to house a dedicated palliative care multidisciplinary team to meet patients' end-of-life preferences and needs," she said.
"Similar Australian models to our suggested approach have demonstrated consistent improvement in patient outcomes and experiences in palliative care outcome collaboration data, reduced need for transfer of patients at end-of-life, staff and patient survey data and individual patient stories collected.
"Conversely, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care undertook scoping and preliminary consultation work to identify the key factors affecting the quality of end of life care when patients are admitted into acute hospital beds.
"The study found that acute care focusses on diagnosis, treatment, cure and discharge rather than end-of-life care.
"Deaths are evaluated in terms of unexpectedness and potential preventability, rather than on quality of end of life care.
"Care is frequently provided by strangers and in urgent circumstances with a lack of holistic approaches.
"This approach does not provide the necessary, impeccable care to the dying patient that the patient, families and our community expect and deserve.
"The service as described could potentially either be run as part of the Local Health District such as the stand-alone specialty sub-acute palliative care unit at Wauchope District Memorial Hospital or by an affiliated health organisation such as the Mater in Newcastle."
According to Ms Charlton, the cost of keeping a patient in an acute hospital bed was $1800 per day compared to $1000 per day for a palliative care hospice staffed by palliative care doctors and nursing specialists.
The investment by the State Government would be in the region of $4.5 million per year but would be offset by the reduced requirement for acute beds, ambulance and would free up the existing burden on the region emergency departments.
"Members of our committee are speaking to service clubs and organisations across the community every week at the moment.
"There is nobody who has told us it is a bad idea."
Ms Charlton said the Elsie's Retreat committee would shortly be organising a charity ball.
Presentation notes, 24 Apr 2017
Anne Charlton, Elsie's Retreat
Newsletter, 24 Apr 2017
Rod Radford, Rotary Club of Umina Beach