Celebrating palliative care

A CELEBRATION of the achievements of three local palliative-care projects will be held this week in Coffs Harbour.

Mid North Coast Division of General Practice medical director, Dr Helena Johnston, said since 2003 the region has received generous funding for palliative-care projects from the Department of Health and Ageing.

“Palliative care aims to provide physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families in dealing with issues associated with a terminal illness,” Dr Johnston said.

“On March 31, three projects finish, bringing to an end six years of intensive attention to delivering palliative care in the region.”

The Catholic Healthcare Palliative Approach project developed the notion of 'care conferences', a team approach to care planning which saw 86 meetings attended by more than 450 participants to clarify priorities for care and discuss end-of-life issues.

The Spiritual Care project saw more than 100 workshops and seminars held on the Mid North Coast, with topics ranging from communication skills to Aboriginal spirituality, from personal explorations of death to focusing on 'being rather than doing'.

The Integrated Network Palliative Care project created a network around multidisciplinary team meetings, where specialists, GPs, nurses, social workers and others attended meetings that improved communication, assisted in co-ordination of care, and provided opportunities for improved knowledge.

To recognise the achievements of all of these projects, a joint celebration will be held at Cavanbah Centre on February 27 from 5pm.



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