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Mercy Health New 24-hour Palliative Care Service Recognised In Catholic Health Australia Awards

Palliative care patient Adrian Cervetto and his wife Gwyn who have used the new 24 hour palliative care service.


Mercy Palliative Care, a community-based palliative care service, which was launched in April has been recognised at the 2018 Catholic Health Australia Awards.


The Mercy Health Team received the Outreach Health Care Award at a ceremony in Melbourne earlier this week.


Mercy Palliative Care is a 24-hour service for people requiring specialised care in Melbourne city and its western suburbs.


The service provides every patient with access to a palliative care nurse, accompanied by a personal care worker, at night. The specialised staff visit palliative care patients and assist to manage pain and other distressing symptoms.


Mercy Palliative Care Services Manager Fran Gore said the response from patients and their families has been amazing, with more than 600 people using the service since it commenced.


“Mercy Health’s new model of care enables patients to have access to specialist care 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Ms Gore said.


“Patients are impressed their concerns are listened to by a specialist palliative care nurse and impressed by how quickly their calls are triaged.”


It is not uncommon for community palliative care services to use a district nursing service to attend to overnight calls for assistance. Often the attending overnight provider has limited palliative care experience, resulting in unnecessary emergency department presentations or visits being triaged for follow-up the next day.


“With our specialised overnight service, we hope to provide holistic end-of-life care for individuals and their families whenever they need it,” Ms Gore said.


“When a patient contacts the 24-hour palliative care number, they now speak directly with the specialist palliative care nurse who will be visiting them that evening. The nurse provides advice to them over the phone and gives them an estimated time of arrival to their home.”


In the first six weeks that the service was made available, 89 patients were visited by a palliative care nurse between the hours of 10:30pm–7am. In the six-weeks prior to that, district nurses provided advice to 64 patients and only 25 of these were provided a home visit.


“Comparatively, this represents a dramatic improvement in service to the community,” Ms Gore said.


“Patients and their families are greatly comforted by the increased access to specialised care, giving them improved quality of end-of-life care.


“We expect an average of three to six extra visits a night; these are people who previously weren’t receiving care.”


Through this innovative model of care, Mercy Palliative Care hopes to set the standard for all metropolitan community-based palliative care services.


Congratulations Fran and the Mercy Palliative Care Team.


Palliative Care

Congratulations to Fran Gore and the Mercy Palliative Care team, winning the Outreach Health Care Award 2018 at the Catholic Health Australia Gala Dinner last night. The team was recognised for launching a 24/7 service that provides patients, families and carers with access to a specialist palliative care nurse at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.

Posted by Mercy Health on Tuesday, 28 August 2018


Messages to: Kasey McCulloch, Mercy Health