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Collaboration enhances palliative care resources in Waterloo and Wellington

KITCHENER

Hospice Palliative Care providers in Waterloo Wellington are working together to offer more direct care and support options to residents, and their families, who are in need of palliative and end-of-life care services.

“The conversations and local collaboration efforts have been in the works for some time.” says Judy Nairn, Executive Director of Hospice of Waterloo Region.  “Throughout the development of our plan we are consulting with providers in all areas of our LHIN to be sure the program meets the varying care and support needs of patients and families.”

 Hospice of Waterloo Region, Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre (WWCCAC), Hospice Wellington, Lisaard House and many other organizations have all been working closely together to improve the delivery of palliative care services in our area. One of the service areas that has been recently reviewed is the Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultation Program for Waterloo and Wellington.

“Through the process we discovered that by shifting services we could combine resources and create an additional full time pain and symptom management consultant position” says Andrea Martin Waterloo Wellington Integrated Hospice Palliative Care Lead, WWCCAC. “The change will allow us as a system to devote more care time to people in need, and the creation of a full time position will also help attract new specialized talent to compliment the excellent staff already onboard.”

The plan to integrate resources was presented to and supported by the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network’s (WWLHIN) Board of Directors on Thursday, Aug. 15.  This voluntary transfer of service means that the Wellington Palliative Pain  and Symptom Management Program (PSMP) will move from WWCCAC to Hospice of Waterloo Region (HWR). In partnership with Hospice Wellington, HWR will continue to employ staff  located in both in Waterloo and Wellington to ensure equitable access to all Waterloo Wellington residents.

The PSM Program supports service providers in home care agencies, long term care homes, community support services and primary care by providing access to specially trained Registered Nurses.  The nurses provide consultation, education, mentorship and linkages to palliative care resources across the continuum of care.

“The Palliative Care Program brings consultants and specialists together to work as an interdisciplinary team to review and create best care plans for a wide range of residents requiring palliative care” describes Dr. Ahmed Jakda, Regional Head, Palliative Care Program, Grand River Hospital.

The program also supports residents living in Long-Term Care (LTC) homes where program leads provide pain management consultation, train professional staff and are currently distributing an electronic resource kit with best practice guidelines, protocols, and resources for nurses who support residents at end-of-life. The consultants are working to standardize care across our LTC homes and have reached over 200 RN/RPNs’ in the past year alone.

 Integration of these services is just one of many steps towards the WWLHIN’s commitment to achieve a high quality, integrated hospice palliative care program that improves options for residents through the delivery of a single standard of care.

 Investment in the program is a part of the WWLHIN’s commitment to improve local Palliative and Hospice Care. Other local projects include an investment in nursing and personal support services in a new 10 bed residential hospice that is being opened by Lisaard House in 2014.

 “Ultimately, our commitment to these programs is about making sure we have the best services to offer our residents,” says Bruce Lauckner, CEO WWLHIN “and that we can offer families in our community   the help, guidance and support  they need to be as comfortable as they can be during palliative and  end-of-life care that is most important.”

 

Vol 46 Issue 34

August 23, 2013

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