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Building Capability, Confidence and Communities of Practice in residential Aged Care to improve End of Life Care.

Specialist Palliative Care Provider HammondCare was commissioned by the Sydney North Primary Health Network to support Quality End of Life Care (EOLC) in Residential Aged Care Homes (RACH). This Project commenced in October 2017 and has continued into Phase 3 ending in June 2020, with possibility of refunding to 2121. The Project aims to provide optimal care and support to patients and their families, enabling residents to die well in their place of choice. The model of care was designed to provide a holistic integrated service. 
 
Phase 3 is focusing on a Quality Improvement model to support RACHs and organisations to make long- term sustainable changes and implementation of practice to ensure residents receive quality EOLC. Currently 34 RACHs are participating in the project, equating to 2929 beds (residents). The Project Manager and Clinical Nurse Consultant works with each facility to identify gaps in Advance Care Planning and EOLC.  Palliative Care working parties are formed at each RACH to ensure that the quality improvement plan is implemented. Training at the RACHs includes conducting Palliative Care needs rounds. 
 
Offsite education provided by Staff Specialists and Clinical Nurse Consultants specifically target two streams; Care Workers, Recreational Officers and Pastoral Care, and Registered Nurses and Facility Managers. The goal is to build internal capability and capacity in RAC.  Two key resources have been developed which are widely utilised; The EOLC FlipChart and The EOLC Resource Book. 
 
Central to the project is the creation of Palliative Care Communities of Practice. 300+ aged care staff are invited to attend tele-education sessions, and receive a quarterly project newsletter including best practice for EOLC and signposting to existing Commonwealth funded national projects and resources designed to improve EOLC in RAC.

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