Palliamo GmbH, SAPV, Regensburg
Implementation of a satellite team of a home based specialised palliative care team in a rural area
Rural areas in Germany often lack ambulant palliative care services, in particular highly specialized services are missing. Depending on geographic factors and the number of inhabitants, the implementation of satellite teams of pre-existing palliative care teams is currently the best way to provide specialised palliative care and end of live care at a patient’s home. The challenge remains to integrate these services in pre-existing medical structures and also to find an organisational structure enabling the team to overcome geographical and “cultural” difficulties.
The goal of this project was to implement a satellite team of our pre-existing home based palliative care team within 1.5 years.
Satellite team has been defined as an independently working team comprising employed health care professionals (currently 5 palliative care specialists and 3 palliative care nurses) who cover the complete area of this defined region (state). The term satellite implies that this team is working independently, but financial issues are managed by our team.
The second step was to establish a 24 h on call service for eligible patients and consequently to define criteria for this. To achieve this, we needed to increase the nursing staff number and also find an organisational structure as well as new ways of communicating between the original and the satellite team.
Finally, a new palliative network has been established to coordinate all pre-existing palliative and hospice services and to bring all health care professionals together that already deliver their expertise in the field of palliative care.
It remains a huge challenge to establish a satellite team. One major issue is certainly to adopt the organisational structure to geographic and local circumstances and to bring together local health care structures.