MPHN is one of 11 Primary Health Networks from across the country who have been granted funding by the Department of Health to implement the Greater Choices for At Home Palliative Care Measure. The project is enhancing services available with a focus on utilising technology and improving after hours support and is also enabling communities to develop their own support networks in a way that complements primary health palliative care services and allows patients to receive greater care and support in their homes.
Objectives of the project
Improve access to safe, quality palliative care at home and support end-of-life care systems and services in primary health care and community care;
Enable the right care, at the right time and in the right place to reduce unnecessary hospitalisations;
Generate and use data to ensure continuous improvement of services across sector; and
Utilise available technologies to provide flexible and responsive care, including care after usual business hours.
A multidisciplinary approach to palliative care that utilises telehealth where appropriate
An initial multidisciplinary telehealth trial with five sites has been established (Tumbarumba, Corowa, Cootamundra, Hay and Young) where each site is co-designing their model in conjunction with the MPHN delivery team. Some aspects that feature in each of the five models include:
Early identification of palliative care patients in general practice through the use of trigger tools
Improved integration of care with the local palliative care team, NSW Ambulance, pharmacy, allied health, aged care providers and non-government organisations.
Developing an afterhours contact pathway for patients and their carers.
Developing a local process to support access to medications particularly in the afterhours period.
Utilisation of telehealth
Implementation of a compassionate communities framework
MPHN is assisting Local Health Advisory Committees (LHACs) and their associated communities to adopt a public health approach to death, dying and bereavement. Compassionate Communities is a public health approach that aims to build community capacity to support people approaching the end of their lives.
The project is undertaking an initial compassionate communities trial with two sites (Culcairn and Griffith), and will then seek to scale up the implementation of this framework in a staggered approach across the MPHN.
La Trobe University Palliative Care Unit has been engaged to assist with capacity building, with MPHN utilising the La Trobe University’s Health End of Life Program (HELP).
The Department of Health have commissioned Deloitte to conduct an overarching evaluation of the Greater Choices for At Home Palliative Care Measure across the 11 project sites.