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Palliative care nurses are back in the region

Palliative care nurses are back in the region

The region can sigh of relief again as two locally based palliative care nurses have taken up the role of providing palliative support through the public health system for the Barossa.

The Barossa faced months with one palliative care nurse working one day a week, which locals agreed “wasn’t enough”.

This personalised care aims to support families in their own homes and provide valuable respite to carers.

 In addition to the Barossa service, the nearby palliative care team in Gawler, along with the teams in Adelaide Hills and South Coast, all support each other in providing services to people in the wider Barossa Hills Fleurieu region.

Heather Thompson, Barossa Hills Fleurieu Regional Palliative Care Team Leader is also a qualified palliative care nurse and provides support and assistance as needed.

Community Health nurses provide clinical care as required on weekends to ensure that palliative care clients and their carers are supported.

Shirley Papavasiliou and Michelle White are now the two local palliative care nurses. 

Although they are based in Angaston,  they service the greater Barossa area, including the communities of Nildottie, Cambrai, Sedan and Robertstown.

Shirley works three days a week, from Wednesday to Friday. 

Michelle takes care of working Tuesdays, then two other days of the week she’s busy with a community nursing role also in the Barossa.

Both ladies explained they also work weekends when end of life care requires daily visits in the client’s home.

As palliative care nurses they work within a multi disciplinary team, including an occupational therapist and a social worker. 

They also have the support of trained volunteers to assist with the care and support of clients and have a visiting palliative consultant from the Northern Adelaide Palliative Service, based at Modbury Hospital, who provides specialised medical support to the clients.

“In our role we co-ordinate the care and needs of people in the community who have a life-limiting illness,” said Michelle.

“A large part of our job is the assessment of complex symptoms, of which a close working relationship with the client’s GP is essential. 

“A client’s needs may be not only physical, but psychological/social as well.  Our ‘client’ also includes the person’s carers and loved ones.”

Michelle and Shirley work with clients and carers to ensure they are providing the services needed.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.