HOW do palliative care services work together in the Manning? It’s an important question and one that was answered by Manning Valley Push 4 Palliative (MVP4P) at its meet and greet at Taree Library on Saturday, May 20. Around 30 people attended to hear speakers, ask questions and see the launch of a week-long display marking National Palliative Care Week.
Speakers included clinical nurse consultant Trish Lowe (Lower Mid North Coast Community Health team) and palliative care nurse specialist Sally Drury (Manning Hospital), who explained the care patients receive in hospital and when at home, in the care of the community health team and how the two services work together to ease the transition from one to the other.
They explained MVP4P is an invaluable service to the community and to them as practitioners as palliative patients and carers often need fast-response support.
They provide the nursing care but there are many other things needed at home that may not be affordable, MVP4P is able to approve and provide financial assistance for, say, personal care at home, for specialised equipment loan, respite for the carer.
Linda Walters the convenor of MVP4Ps Equipment Working Group and occupational therapist from the Mayo Hospital explained how the specialised palliative care equipment ‘lending library’ works and why the services of allied health personnel can add so much to the quality of life people can have at home.
MVP4P chairperson Judy Hollingworth said around 25 per cent of the $47,000 raised since MVP4P’s inception has come from spontaneous community donations; this had been converted into a collection of specialised equipment for loan, provision of emergency care at home, and now, donated items.
Judy also spoke about how MVP4P is working to bring the particular needs of the Manning Valley to state and federal level politicians and policy-makers. MVP4P advocates for the community at State government level - for example, she was able to put forward the needs of the Manning Valley district at the NSW Ministry of Health Roundtable consultation at Kempsey on May 15. She will do so again at the Newcastle Roundtable consultation on June 9.
Judy is also able to take our regional, rural experience and a non-clinical, non-practitioner view to Palliative Care Australia, as she is a board member.