Group looking for hospice alternatives

End-of-life care is on the table for discussion and Dr. Joan Bratty is hoping residents will speak up.

End-of-life care is on the table for discussion and Dr. Joan Bratty is hoping residents will speak up.

Bratty is chair of a committee overseeing a collaborative initiative between local family doctors and Interior Health.

“The mandate of working group is to look into status of the current (hospice) care through surveys and hospital questionnaires,” she says, pointing out very few people have not had some experience with palliative care issues. “We are reviewing palliative care services in the Shuswap area with the aim of improving the care of terminally ill patients and their families. There are lots of opinions about quality of service and we’re trying to get as much community engagement as possible.”

A survey to assess community opinion of palliative care services in our region is now available in local doctors’ offices, the outpatient lab/community care office at the top of Tank Hill and online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/shuswappcare.

Hospital patients and their families will also be given an opportunity to express their opinions and concerns about palliative care in the area.

The survey seeks opinions on how well needs of both patients, families and friends were met in a hospice situation, availability of helpful information and transition to or from hospital.

There is an opportunity to express both kudos and concerns regarding hospice care, to present suggestions for improvements and to get involved in a community forum.

The information obtained from the survey will be for data collection purposes only. All survey responses will remain anonymous.

Surveys must be completed and returned by September. Results of the survey will be presented at a public forum to be held in Salmon Arm Nov. 14.

The forum will include focus groups to allow interested community members to discuss issues and share their ideas.

“We will provide research about palliative care in rural communities – that’s a unique setting,” says Bratty, noting candid input is important and valued. “It’s a critical health care issue for everybody, so we’re trying to get as much information back as possible.”