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Hospice funding enables innovation

Hospice funding enables innovation

As New Zealand’s population ages, hospices face an increasing number of referrals for their services. Last year, New Zealand’s hospices provided care and support for more than 18,000 people and their families – a number expected to grow significantly over the next decade.

Mary Schumacher, Chief Executive of Hospice New Zealand, says the Health Minister’s recognition of the challenges ahead for the palliative care sector is reassuring. In 2014, the Government committed $24.1 million over four years to hospices to support new, innovative and ongoing services working with aged residential care and primary care.

Hospice New Zealand began an intensive project to provide a national process to support its member hospices to access these funds. More than 15 proposals have now been approved, with several more in the advanced stages of planning.

A key feature of the process has been the opportunity for hospices to collaborate with other health care providers in their regions, identifying and designing roles to specifically meet the needs of their local communities. “Now, more than ever, there is a need for health care providers to work together to meet the palliative care needs of an aging population”, says Ms. Schumacher. “The hospice philosophy of care is about ensuring people can access the best possible care at the end of life, regardless of where they choose to be cared for, where they live or what condition they have.”

Clinical nurse specialists, allied care professionals, nurse practitioners, Maori and Pacific liaison and education specialists are just some of the positions that have been created to directly meet the palliative care needs of people in aged residential care and primary care.

“This has been an exciting, challenging and collaborative way of working for our hospices, their partners, DHBs and the Ministry of Health” says Ms. Schumacher.

ENDS

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