The future of end of life palliative care in Orange will be spread across a range of services, the region's strategy manager said on Wednesday.
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Christine Symington has been the palliative care strategy manager for the Western NSW Local Health District since July.
Ms Symington said with research, new programs and improved models of care more palliative care patients would be able to die at a place of their choice.
"The data we have captured for the last 12 months shows that about 98 per cent of people who have been referred or are known to this service have died at their place of choice," she said.
About 98 per cent of people who have been referred or are known to this service have died at their place of choice.- Christine Symington, Palliative care strategy manager
A community petition backed by the Orange Push for Palliative Care group, member for Orange Phil Donato and local doctors, helped obtain a dedicated palliative care facility at Uniting Parkwood on a 12-month trial.
Ms Symington said the future of the facility would be determined after the trial by a review.
She said the facility was just part of the region's overall palliative care program.
"Parkwood is one part of the puzzle," she said.
Ms Symington said other programs included an after hours advisory service, a volunteer program, support packages for people in their homes, NSW Ambulance authorised palliative care plans plus outreach work to regional areas.
"These programs and models of care have allowed the Orange Specialist Palliative Care Service to develop a strong and integrated service with the capacity to support patients to die in their place of choice," she said.
"One of the big things has been the introduction of the palliative care after hours advisory service. That's in its third year.
"Prior to that if people got a little bit stuck after hours it was quite challenging. Now people have access 24/7 to these specialist nurses.
"It gives the opportunity for people to have a conversation with a nurse at two in the morning and say 'I'm really stuck, pain's a problem or whatever's a problem'," she said.
Ms Symington said it was also working with the federal government's Primary Health Network to pilot a program to work with primary carers.
"This project will see members of the Orange Specialist Palliative Care Team provide education and training to staff of residential aged care facilities," she said.
"It aims to assist carers and non-specialist healthcare professionals to assess, plan and care for patients."
The WNSWLHD palliative care medical officer Dr Louis Christie said it was important to keep up with national and international trends in research and planning.
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