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Improving Access to End of Life Care Services

Improving Access to End of Life Care Services

Description of Services

Specialist palliative care provider, HammondCare, was commissioned by Sydney North Health Network to provide ‘Quality End of Life Care’ education and training for staff working in residential aged care across Northern Sydney.

The essential features of the Quality of End of Life Care in RACFs Initiative are:

  • Improving access to effective EoLC services for people in RACFs and their families, particularly after hours
  • Building the capacity of carers and staff within RACFs to deliver effective EoLC
  • Promoting linkages with broader health and support services, to better support integrated, coordinated treatment and referral pathways
  • Improving awareness and implementation of advance care planning with families and residents within RACFs

24 facilities were selected in the initial End of Life Care Project – Click here to view.

 

Evaluation

The UTS evaluation of the service identified:

  • Improvements in care at the end of life were demonstrated for residents receiving the Clinical Advice Service (CAS). This included increased advance care/forward planning, increased proportion of residents dying in their preferred location, increased care coordination through palliative care case conferences and access to bereavement support for families
  • Improvements in quality care at the end of life as identified, residents referred to the CAS demonstrated a marked reduction in hospital transfers in the last week of life.
  • There was a statistically significant increase in confidence for both Link Nurses and Care worker Champions. The greatest improvement for Care worker Champions was in relation to discussing resident wishes for or following death. The greatest improvement for Link Nurses was in relation to informing people of support services, followed by reacting to and coping with terminal dyspnoea.

 

As a result of the evaluation, 5 additional RACFs located across SNHN have been chosen to participate in the ongoing initiative. Two facilities have a high proportion of patients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, one has mainly Chinese residents and the other has a combination of Armenian, Russian and Italian residents.

The five facilities chosen were:

  • Caroline Chisholm Nursing Home, Lane Cove
  • Estia House, Manly Vale
  • Alexander Aged Care Facility, Brookvale
  • Presbyterian Aged Care, Thornleigh
  • Leighton Lodge, Hammond Care, North Turramurra

 

Links to resources developed as a result of this initiative:

End of life flipchart

End of life resource booklet