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Hospice NZ Standards for Palliative Care Launch

12 April 2012

Hospice NZ Standards for Palliative Care Launch

Hospice NZ is delighted to announce the launch of its Standards for Palliative Care.

Dr Paul Hutchison, MP for Hunua and Chair of the Health Select Committee will officially llaunch the Hospice NZ Standards for Palliative Care in Wellington on 13 April, at Te Papa.

Hospice New Zealand’s vision is that all people in New Zealand have equitable access to the best possible care as they approach the end of their life and die.
The Standards aim to improve the quality and equity of palliative care services available in New Zealand. The 14 standards are based on the Palliative Care Australia standards but adapted to suit New Zealand. They can be used to support quality management and improvement activities at a local, regional or national level, regardless of the care setting - wherever palliative care is needed and delivered

“I am very excited that we are at the point of publishing these standards” says Mary Schumacher, CEO, Hospice NZ. Hospices will now review their services and practices against the national standards using the quality review programme.”

The development of the Standards involved 18 months work and collaboration between Hospice NZ, Maori hospice and health workers, experts from palliative care, aged care, management and audit.

There has been a conscious effort to capture the spirit of palliative care in the document with inclusion of the many faces of New Zealanders, and whakatoki (Maori sayings), gifted to Hospice NZ by Maori elders associated with Hospices across the county.

Moku ano enei rā, mo te rā ka hekeheke;
he rākau ka hinga ki te mano wai!

Let these few days be for me, for the declining sun;
a tree falling through many floods of waters

Eight member hospices piloted the draft Standards and provided feedback to assist in the development and finalising of the resource.

Following the pilot, Suzie Kuper, Clinical Team Leader at Lake Taupo Hospice, said "We were able to capture in more detail what we do. It gave us a really clear snapshot of what we want to achieve and, as a small hospice, who we might need to collaborate with to ensure we are in line with best practice."

It is proposed that hospices will take part in a self review process at least every two years with peer review and support occurring between self review cycles.

Overview of the Standards
Standard 1 – Values based care
A competent and compassionate palliative care service provider reflects the philosophy, values, organisational culture, structure and environment in keeping with the core values of quality palliative care.

Standard 2 – Ensuring equitable access
Access to palliative care is available for all people based on need and is independent of current health status, diagnosis, age, cultural background or geography.

Standard 3 – Coordinating care
Care is coordinated to minimise the burden on the patient, their carer/s, family and whānau.

Standard 4 – Providing whole person assessment
All needs of the patient and their family and whānau are acknowledged in the assessment and care planning processes.

Standard 5 – Meeting the cultural needs of diverse family and whānau
The unique cultural needs of the patient and their family and whānau are acknowledged and respected in the assessment and care planning processes.

Standard 6 – Providing person centred care planning
Decision making and care planning is based on a respect for the uniqueness of the patient and their family and whānau.

Standard 7 – Ensuring ongoing assessment and planning
Ongoing and comprehensive assessment and care planning are undertaken to meet the needs and wishes of the patient and their family and whānau.

Standard 8 – Caring for patients who are dying
The unique needs of patients in the last days of life, and the family and whānau, are considered, their comfort maximised and their dignity preserved.

Standard 9 – Caring for the carer/s
The carer/s is/are provided with information, support and guidance about their role according to their needs and wishes.

Standard 10 – Providing bereavement care
Formal mechanisms are in place to ensure that the patient and their family and whānau have access to bereavement care, information and support services.

Standard 11 – Building community capacity
Community capacity to respond to the needs of people who have a life limiting condition, and their family and whānau is built through effective collaboration and partnerships.

Standard 12 – Quality and research
The service is committed to quality improvement and research in clinical and management practices.

Standard 13 – Professional development
Staff and volunteers are appropriately qualified for the level of service offered and demonstrate ongoing participation in continuing professional development.

Standard 14 – Reflective practice and self care
Staff and volunteers reflect on their practice and maintain effective self care strategies.

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