Two palliative care nurse specialists and a social worker have been appointed to lead the new Wairarapa Palliative Care Service beginning next month.
Te Omanga Hospice nurse Carol Hinton, and former Glenwood Hospital manager and nurse Anne Savage will fill the two nurse specialist roles with social worker Wendy Turton appointed as the service facilitator, Wairarapa DHB planning and funding director Joy Cooper said.
"We are delighted with the exceptional expertise and experience that these three people will bring to Wairarapa people who are terminally ill and their families, and other health professionals."
"Between them Anne and Carol have a wealth of specialist palliative care experience in the Wairarapa community. Wendy's strong social work background with people of all ages will be an added asset to the new service," Mrs Cooper said.
Ms Hinton has worked with the Te Omanga service in Wairarapa for the past eight years and previously was a district nurse in Wairarapa for more than 20 years.
In her new role as a palliative care nurse specialist, she will provide specialist nursing care, and advice and support to terminally ill patients and their families and will also advise and support other health professionals involved in their care, Mrs Cooper said.
Ms Savage has played a leading role in palliative and aged care in Wairarapa since 1989 through her former position at Glenwood.
As a member of the New Zealand Palliative Care working group Anne has worked with New Zealand's leading specialists in palliative care and also holds a Diploma in Palliative Care, Mrs Cooper said.
"In her new role Anne will provide advice, support, education and training to other health professionals to support them in providing general palliative care in the community and hospital."
Ms Turton will be the first point of contact for patients and their families and comes to the position with 16 years of social work experience in New Zealand and the UK, she said.
"Wendy will co-ordinate a team of health professionals and support people for each patient to meet their individual needs.
"Wendy will make sure each patient has a single plan of care in place to be shared by all health professionals involved. She will also manage access for patients to support services and equipment."
The former Te Omanga House at 48 Lincoln Road, Masterton, will act as the base for the specialist nursing team and weekly medical clinics run by a Te Omanga specialist doctor, Mrs Cooper said.
"Already caring for terminally-ill people in the community, an expanded team of community nurses (formerly district nurses) will continue their work under the new service. A part-time specialist nurse is yet to be appointed," she said.
Mrs Cooper said the new Wairarapa Palliative Care Service combined existing services so that all people who are terminally ill, and their families, could have the best possible quality of life. At present these services each provide palliative care separately and differently.
Wairarapa DHB and general practice teams will work together in the new Wairarapa service, supported by Te Omanga's medical specialists. A range of other professionals will work with doctors and nurses to help meet the physical, mental and spiritual needs of patients and their families. They include occupational therapists, clergy, social workers and Maori health workers.
Mrs Cooper said most people prefer to die in their own home and the new service would assist and support people who wish to do so.
"Glenwood, Roseneath, Palliser and Lansdowne rest homes and hospitals, and Wairarapa Hospital will continue to provide inpatient care for those who cannot or do not wish to be cared for at home."
A management group including representatives of the Wairarapa DHB, Te Omanga Hospice and Wairarapa Community PHO will monitor quality and performance of the new service, she said.
"A community reference group will represent other health providers, community and voluntary organisations, and the wider community."
Mrs Cooper said the new service welcomes voluntary involvement from interested people and will provide access to training and co-ordination for volunteers.