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Palliative Care Services Safe In Wairarapa

Palliative Care Services Safe In Wairarapa

Wairarapa CEO David Meates today moved to reassure the community that palliative care services are changing, not closing.

“Palliative care is a term that applies to end-of-life care. As such, it’s a vital part of our health services. Over the last 3 years we have looked closely at what services we provide, and what we will need to provide in the future as our population make-up changes and ages. What became clear was that we needed a new model of care that closely integrated home based, community based care and medical care, and ensured that all those needing services could access them early, and easily.”

Mr Meates was quick to commend the work of the Te Omanga, visiting specialists, District Nursing staff, volunteers and General Practitioners who have contributed so much to the evolving palliative care service over the years.

“This is not about cutting budgets or services,” he said. “In fact, we will be putting more money into this growing service. This is about changing the way we do things to make sure the future needs of our whole community are met. During our extensive engagement with providers and users alike, it became clear that we needed to redesign the service to make sure it was easy to access. We also needed to be sure that the same level of service was available to all people needing end-of-life care, no matter what their presenting medical history was – and that that service needed to start earlier rather than later in the course of their condition.”

Mr Meates acknowledged that changing established services was not easy.
“What has been done in the past has worked very well for many people, and the dedication of those involved is notable and widely appreciated. People will continue to get life-limiting illnesses, and still need the same kind of service and support. What is changing is the way they can access those services, the time frame the services will be available for, and the integration and roles of the various providers. There are many providers involved in the palliative care partnership, so integration is a key theme in the development of the service.”

“I understand the dilemma that change creates for many people,” he said. “We faced similar issues as we redesigned services and built a new hospital two years ago. As with the new hospital, the proof will be in the experience of the users of palliative care services two years from now. “

Changes to services will be implemented from September this year. An outline of the proposed service and a Questions and Answers document is will be ailable on the DHB website or copies can be collected from the hospital, Te Omanga and DHB reception desks from lunchtime today.


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