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Multidisciplinary Management in Patients Receiving Palliative Care Training at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town

Author: Lindi Bester, Rene Krause, Jennifer Arendse; South Africa
17 October 2017
  • Dr Liz Gwyther at the Allied Health professional day at Groote Schuur Hospital.

The main aim of this 1-day training was to ensure palliative care rehabilitation is brought forward as an essential component of care. Allied health care professionals are an imperative part of the Palliative Care Team (PCT) - with a focus on maintaining function and improving quality of life for patients and families.

Lindi Bester and Nasreen Allie, both Speech Therapists at GSH, identified a need for a more multidisciplinary approach to managing patients that are in? for Palliative Care. On 18 September 2017, the Speech Therapy Department at GSH, in collaboration with the PCT, held a workshop entitled: Multidisciplinary Management in Patients Receiving Palliative Care. 

The day was well attended by 90 Medical Professionals working across the Western Cape – some traveling from as far as George. Presentations were provided by: Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Palliative Care Team, Physiotherapy, Social Work and Speech Therapy.  These presentations were well received and delegates reported they found the input both inspiring and challenging. The challenge for each participant was how to keep patients as active and involved as possible.

Guest speakers included Dr Liz Gwyther, Dr Margie Venter and Dr René Krause.  These dynamic ladies provided insights into the ethical and human rights aspects; the importance of and how to have an end of life care discussion and the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the palliative care approach.

The interest and the attendance of more than 90 delegates demonstrated the huge need for academic Palliative Care Rehabilitation programs.

The feedback received demonstrated a need for more academic Palliative Care workshops and to increase Allied Health Care provider involvement in hospital and community based Palliative Care. Some delegates had to be turned away because of limited space.

Allied Health Care providers are an essential part of the Palliative Care Team and must be incorporated in interdisciplinary meetings. There is a huge gap in Allied Health Care professionals training regarding Palliative Care.

In conclusion, there is need for more such workshops to accommodate the growing interest in Rehabilitation of the Palliative Care patients!

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