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Readiness for providing primary palliative care
in regional Aged Residential Care:
Partnering with SEQUAL specialist palliative care nurses

Te takatū kia hora i te tiaki whakamāmā i te mate taumaha i ngā
Mahi Tiaki Kaumātua i ngā Whare Kaumātua:
Te mahi kōtui me ngā tapuhi whakamāmā i ngā mate taumaha SEQUAL

Vivien Rodgers, RN, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ
Bridget Marshall, RN, MN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Arohanui Hospice, Palmerston North, NZ
Frances Hey, RN, PGDipAdN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Arohanui Hospice, Palmerston North, NZ
Anna Blackwell, RN, PGDipN, Project Manager, Arohanui Hospice, Palmerston North, NZ
Pip Lewer, Project Administrator, Arohanui Hospice, Palmerston North, NZ

Reference:

Rodgers, V., Marshall, B., Hey, F., Blackwell, A., & Lewer, P.
(2017). Readiness for providing primary palliative care in
regional Aged Residential Care: Partnering with SEQUAL
specialist palliative care nurses. Nursing Praxis in New
Zealand, 33(3), 31-40.

Abstract

Increasing numbers of older New Zealanders are spending their last days of life in Aged Residential Care (ARC), traditionally rehabilitative-focused.  Current trends suggest realignment towards a palliative approach to care is needed. While the New Zealand government has committed to providing quality palliative care, available to all irrespective of where they live, the need for a supportive partnership between regional ARC and specialist palliative care services has not been established. A pilot study was conducted by a specialist Supportive Education and Quality palliative care (SEQUAL) team in five ARC facilities within regional New Zealand. A clinical staff survey (n = 84) and facility desktop document review were undertaken to determine readiness, need for and level of support required to enhance primary palliative care for residents. Each of the five facilities was found to document few indicators for a palliative care approach in care philosophy or delivery plans. While the majority of clinical staff (Registered Nurses /Health Care Assistants), reported spending more than 50% of their time with residents in their final year of life, not all felt confident to do so. No palliative care education had been received by 42% (n=36) of respondents.  Implementing a specialist palliative care partnership to support facility re-alignment of care philosophy, policies and procedural guidelines, with additional clinical staff palliative care education would provide a platform to implement a palliative care approach in regional ARC settings. This would signal the intent of the organisations to provide an individualised quality palliative care experience for residents.

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