BALLARAT Health Services is to implement a new scheme to improve end-of-life healthcare for patients.
The End Of Life framework will be developed by BHS over the next 12 months to train nursing staff on how to approach the confronting conversation about the future passing of a patient with them and their family.
Currently about 40 nursing staff in BHS’ Residential Care Facilities have received training and support on how to conduct the conversation.
The development of the scheme comes after a global conference for Advanced Care Planning held Melbourne in May drew attention to the need to improve end of life healthcare.
Ian and Elizabeth Hastie have developed an Advanced Care Plan for their severely disabled son Peter, to allow for medical care to be provided at Jack Lonsdale Lodge, rather than in hospital, an environment Peter finds distressing.
“It’s nice to know the staff at Jack Lonsdale Lodge can handle everything,” Mr Hastie said.
“But we have stressed that if it can’t be handled here then Peter should go to hospital.”
The development of an ACP allowed the Hasties to enjoy a much-needed holiday, knowing that in the event Peter needed medical care, a plan was in place.
More than two thirds of residents in BHS aged-care facilities have an ACP in place, and having the conversation of the patient’s passing is an integral aspect of the plan.
Expertise and experience will be drawn from palliative care services in the Grampians Region to train staff.
BHS chief executive officer Andrew Rowe said the program would ensure patient and family wishes are honoured and their dignity respected.
“The program will involve further training of staff in other BHS areas including the Base Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Centre and BHS Community Programs, working closely with local GPs.”
“The program will build a co-ordinated approach across all areas of the health service and enhance the range of programs and care provided to patients at the end of their lives that we currently have in place,” Mr Rowe said.