The Community Palliative Care Team – “Hospice at Home”
The Galway Hospice Home Care Service has been operational since 1990.
- The aim of the service is to enhance the care of ill patients in the home / community setting and to support and assist their families and professional carers.
- This service is provided to the people of Galway City and County and the Aran Islands.
- The service is funded by voluntary donations to Galway Hospice Foundation, through bequests, gifts, fundraising events and the Hospice Weekly Draw.
Referrals are accepted for those of any age in the advanced stages of cancer and other life-limited diseases. Referrals can be for symptom control, management i.e. pain control, nausea and vomiting, psychological support, respite and end of life care. Referrals are accepted from a Medical Practitioner or Hospital Consultant.
Referrals to the service are reviewed on a continual basis. We aim to contact new patients/family members by phone 24-72 hours within receipt of a referral from either the GP or the Hospital. As we receive a large number of referrals, visits are allocated according to patient needs. The first visit to the patient can be doctor or nurse-led. From this assessment a care plan is put in place for that patient. Patients/families are advised to contact their GP if their circumstances changes prior to Home Care initial contact.
Patients known to the Home Care team may be admitted to the Hospice Inpatient Unit for periods of assessment and management of symptoms, psychological support, respite and end of life care. The Home Care team also provides support for bereaved families.
Education is a major part of the role of the Home Care Clinical Nurse Specialists. The Home Care team readily share their knowledge with other nursing colleagues in the community and hospital. Team members attend the in-house education programme so that they can keep abreast of changes within palliative care. The team aim to provide a conducive learning environment for all.
“We would like to let you know that we got great support from the Home Care and Day Care teams. Without this support our mother would not have been able to live at home with us for so long.” – Family of Hospice Patient.
One of the key aims of our service is the continued liaison with the Primary Care team and the hospital-based team. Communication between all disciplines is paramount regarding patient care in order to provide continuity of care for patients and their families. The Home Care team is available for consultation to both the Primary Care team and the hospital-based teams at all times.