Prudence Lawrie McCallum
Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Tauranga
Eliminating the gaps: smoothing the transition of patients with cancer to palliative care by overlapping services through a hospital-based Palliative Care Outpatients Clinic
This project will be a collaboration with the cancer care coordinators and the local hospice. A gap analysis will be performed but there is a perceived gap in services between the decision to refer patients to palliative care and a palliative care assessment for some patients. We know a number of patients do not meet hospice criteria and thus not being accepted by hospice at the time of referral and other patients choose not to enroll with hospice at that time. A third group is still coming to terms with making decisions and having a system that allowed an overlap of services could benefit these patients. The project will look at the feasibility of setting up a Palliative Care Outpatient Clinic in the hospital thus providing easy and uniform access to palliative care. Standardised Care Pathways will be developed to ensure consistency and equity and the success of the project will be measured both by process measures (time to be seen) and outcome measures (patient, family and staff satisfaction)
As evidence mounts about the benefits of early referral to palliative care, data will be collected to determine if early referrals to the Palliative Care Outpatient Clinic is also feasible.
This project is part of a larger piece of work which is working towards the Integration of Oncology and Palliative Care services at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, New Zealand.