All Seasons Pharmacy’s Palliative Care Initiative
All Seasons Pharmacy in Te Atatu South has been working closely with Hospice West Auckland’s Poi Community of Care team on a programme to improve the quality of palliative care provided to our community.
For over 30 years All Seasons Pharmacy has serviced the Te Atatu South community. Annually the pharmacy supports an average of 120 palliative care patients and their whanau, most of whom are under the care of Hospice West Auckland. Two years ago they identified an opportunity to improve their patients’ and families’ understanding of medications and other aspects of palliative care, and began to work closely with Hospice West Auckland’s Poi Community of Care services. Hospice’s Poi team work specifically with community providers (including GPs, pharmacists, nurses and aged care providers) to provide palliative care support, training and coaching in order to deliver the best possible quality of care for patients and those who support them.
As well as aiming to improve their palliative care knowledge, the All Seasons team wanted to ensure that the needs of the diverse West Auckland community were met, and learn from Hospice how to both enhance the quality of care provided and increase the confidence that patients, whanau and carers have in managing their medications. They researched the experiences of family/whanau, which revealed uncertainty and a lack of confidence in using syringes and medications that are essential in pain management. Family members also reported that they found it challenging and overwhelming to remember what different medications were for at distressing times.
All Seasons subsequently implemented changes to improve communication for patients and their families, including providing simplified information sheets, and using better in-dispensary communication methods to ensure continuity of care among staff members. They have a policy of responding quickly and efficiently to medication requests, and a reputation for going out of their way to look after their patients’ needs.
Working as a team is vital for providing the best possible quality of care – a philosophy that Hospice’s Poi team and All Seasons Pharmacy wholeheartedly embrace. “I am grateful for the way you work as a team, it is just awesome,” commented one patient. The teams agree that their relationship has strengthened and together continue to look for ways to collaborate and improve processes between the pharmacy, Hospice and families. For example, two of the pharmacists have worked alongside Hospice Nurses to learn more about palliative care and participate in regular education sessions.
This initiative is a wonderful example of the way that Poi support community providers through furthering skills and confidence in palliative care.Back to News