Two New Palliative Care Programmes Offered in Oamaru

Posted Tuesday February 18, 2020
Home About Us News Two New Palliative Care Programmes Offered in Oamaru
In March, Otago Community Hospice is offering two new palliative education programmes in Oamaru: Master Classes in Palliative Care for GPs and the Kowhai Programme for patient carers.

Hospice CEO Ginny Green says a key role of the Hospice as a specialist service is to provide as much support and education as it can to GPs who are at the coalface, dealing with all kinds of palliative patients and also to family carers who often have been thrown in the deep end with caring for a loved one.

“These two groups are vitally important for palliative patients. It’s really important that we do all we can to help GPs, and ensure we are supporting them and sharing our expertise. And it’s equally important that we provide education for those carers who are looking after a loved one, and who often don’t have any training.”

The Master Classes are focussed on sharing specialist Hospice knowledge of palliative care in the primary health setting. These sessions use real case examples as a backdrop to learning. The interactive sessions also enable GPs to share their own experiences.

The classes, starting on March 5th at the North Otago Hospice Hub, cover end of life prescribing, advance care planning, the principles of pain management and ethical challenges faced in palliative care and are led by Dr David Butler, the Hospice’s clinical leader.

The Kowhai Programme, which is for carers of Hospice patients, starts on March 27th at the North Otago Hospice Hub.

The programme covers off such topics as medication management; self-care; legal advice; grief, finding meaning and building resilience; nutrition made easy; what to expect in last days of life and funeral planning.

Due to resource constraints, Otago Community Hospice has to date only delivered Kowhai via face-to-face sessions in Dunedin, says Ms Green.

“It is wonderful we now have the resource to extend this programme to our regions. All our patient carers should have the opportunity to attend a Kowhai session if they are able to. There is nothing like being in a room with the experts, asking the questions that keep people awake at night, and be able to leave a little better equipped for the challenging tasks ahead. It also provides a valuable opportunity to connect with others who are sharing similar experiences.”

Information about the Master Classes can be found here: or phone the Hospice Education Coordinator Glenda Hall on 03 473 1041.

Information about the Kowhai Programme can be found here: or phone the Kowhai Coordinator, Denise van Aalst on 03 473 1032


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