Reports from a range of surveys undertaken by the Palliative Care Workstream (PCW) have provided a snapshot of palliative care in the South Island.
The Resource and Capability Framework for Adult Palliative Care Services in New Zealand was released five years ago, so it was appropriate to assess its implementation and relevancy as a foundation for palliative care provision in the South Island. “While it’s clear that local solutions will be needed for the different services and regions, the surveys have provided a unique view of the gaps and challenges that exist and the need for consistency of care,” says PCW Chair Dr Kate Grundy. “It gives us an opportunity to see how far we have come, but also of where we need to go.”
The five surveys were carried out during 2015 and 2016. The first two surveys examined specialist palliative care services. The PCW then undertook three further surveys to understand the provision of primary palliative care across the wider health system. This relates to all individuals and organisations who deliver palliative care as a component of their work, but who are not part of a specialist palliative care team. The groups surveyed were DHB Planning and Funding, aged residential care and primary health organisations.
Dr Grundy says the findings are wide-ranging, with some of the reports structured to include an extensive set of recommendations. “We would encourage readers to talk through these with their teams, as a way of comparing and contrasting their services with others across the South Island. The reports are intended to drive innovation and integration, in the knowledge that palliative care provision for a population requires collaboration across specialist services, secondary care services and all aspects of community care.”
A survey of bereaved people across the South Island (VOICES, Views of Informal Carers – Evaluation of Services) is also currently underway. This is a collaboration between the University of Canterbury and the South Island Alliance, and will provide a rich and valuable information to work with as the way forward is evaluated.
During September and October, a Palliative Care Workstream roadshow will take place across all five South Island DHBs to discuss the survey reports. This will be led by Dr Grundy and supported by PCW facilitator Jane Haughey, and local PCW members. More details will be available soon.
See the summary of findings and reports below.