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South Tipperary Hospice Movement (STHM) - 25 years serving the Community

An abstract of “A Consultant's Message” by Dr. Emmet Walls

Over the past 25 years STHM has nurtured extremely close working relationships with GPs, Caredoc, Public Health Nursing, the community based Allied Health Professionals, the Community Hospitals, Nursing Homes, the Acute Hospitals, the cancer society night nursing services, the Irish Hospice Foundation funded night nursing service for non cancer sufferers, many HSE managers / officials, and many more.

The National Clinical Programmes set up by the HSE, of which we are part, have consolidated and clearly defined what Specialist Palliative care services do, how we should do it and who we should do it for. As above, people of all ages with challenges arising from progressive life limiting illnesses, both cancer and non-cancer, are eligible to be considered for referral. People in the community can only be seen by us with the consent of their GP.

When a person's GP wants to refer them to us there is a clear “National Referral Form” that supports a standard in information transfer. People are then seen in their own homes or community inpatient units by the Clinical Nurse Specialists or Home Care Nurses of the STHM.

An ongoing major resource to people under the care of our service is the availability of the home care (CNS) team to them 24/7, 365 days a year. The nurses in turn have “all times” access to the Consultant in Palliative medicine 24/7, 365(6). All clinical records are now computerised providing ready access for all the nursing team at all times. Once weekly the entire CNS team on duty and the CNSs from South Tipperary General Hospital meet with the Consultant in Palliative Medicine and the Occupational Therapist (OT) to review all the cases under their care. This is our Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) and there is a constant collaborative flow of communication within the MDT and between it and the other health services caring for the person.

The vast majority of the funding required to deliver this service is received directly from you, our community, through your charitable ventures and donations. Whilst this is a burden for you there are benefits. For example: you can block the reduction of services, you can highlight and expeditiously grant aid and further service developments, as you have done, with every single advance and growth initiative thus far. This is the service you have grown thus far, thank you for your support. To read this article in full or to support South Tipperary Hospice Movement please visit our new website today.

Pic by John D Kelly, View of the STHM offices from the Gas House Bridge, Clonmel

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