Inpatient Unit Review Completed
Otago Community Hospice has recently undertaken a review of its Inpatient Unit after seeing a significant reduction in patient numbers in the unit over the last two years.
With an average of only 4.2 patients at any one time in the unit, we were conscious not only that we needed to respond to changes in demand and that means more resource in the community, but also that we are very mindful that we are funded by the generosity of the community, and we need to make sure that every dollar is working hard for us.
This shifting of focus from inpatient units to community is not unique to Otago and decreasing IPU demand over the past few years is a trend seen by many other community based hospices throughout New Zealand and internationally.
The decrease in Inpatient numbers can be attributed to earlier referrals to Hospice which means less frequent “crisis” admissions. We are also seeing the result of increased focus on education and supporting our primary healthcare colleagues across the sector.
The result of the review was to staff for six beds in the inpatient unit rather than nine. And at the same time we will use our nursing resource to get more support in the community through the piloting the Kowhai at Home programme, which will see carers in the community being better supported.
The impact of the review in the kitchen is that from August it will be staffed from 8am to 2pm rather that the current 8am to 5pm roster. Volunteers on the afternoon shift will be doing exactly the same duties that they do currently ie presenting pre-prepared meals and clearing away, just without a cook present. Our intention is to have two volunteers on for the evening meal shift. And our wonderful cooks will continue to do all the cooking and will be responsible for maintaining the standard of food.
The Hospice has always been incredibly focussed on delivering a high quality service with patients at the forefront of developments. This will not change.
Read all about the new Kowhai at Home programme and our community outreach. https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/pilot-programme-palliative-care-home