Palliative speciality sites – Braeside Hospital

Located approximately 35kms west of Sydney’s CBD, Braeside Hospital provides in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation, palliative care and aged care psychiatry services. It gives patients in the community coordinated and integrated access to treatment by a team of therapists including physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, diversional therapy, dietetics, social work, psychology, medical and nursing services. Its principal referral hospitals are Fairfield, Bankstown and Liverpool Hospitals.

Braeside is part of HammondCare which is an independent Christian charity with a vision to care for people facing the hardest times that life can provide people suffering life-limiting illnesses, and also invaluable support for their families, people suffering with dementia, and those unable to care for themselves.

In the Palliative Care Unit, the majority of patients have an advanced cancer diagnosis with a small proportion with end-stage renal, heart and lung disease.

Approximately 60% of patients will be referred from both community and the major referral hospitals for symptom control, ie, escalating pain, nausea & vomiting, constipation. The remainder will be admitted for end-of-life care.

The big challenges on a day-to-day basis are access to beds; with an increasing number of patients requiring single rooms because of multi-resistant organism infection. With our diverse multicultural population, it can sometimes be difficult to access appropriate interpreters, particularly in our day hospital.

Our main strengths are being able to consistently provide a safe and secure environment for patients and their families, to be able to give time to patients and families to work through their hopes and fears with a multi-disciplinary team, the reassurance of regular and consistent review with good symptom management and being able to respond to calls of distress from the community in a timely manner and the benefit of a large research team has added a new dimension to our work at Braeside Palliative Care.

Depending on their learning objectives PEPA NSW participants can experience the palliative approach in a number of settings such as the purpose-built palliative care in-patient unit, multidisciplinary team meetings to plan patient care, out-patient clinics, day hospital and community visits. Participants can experience palliative care provision in a culturally diverse setting with a multidisciplinary team environment and an active research program.

Health professionals undertaking a placement at Braeside can expect a rich experience around caring for the dying in our culturally and religiously diverse population.

We love having PEPA participants from all health professional disciplines. The exchange of ideas is always a positive for the team at Braeside. To understand some of the difficulties that another service might encounter, and often, to realise that we are very lucky to be able to work with such a diverse team in a very comfortable and supportive environment.

Judy Stone, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Palliative Care
Braeside Hospital, Hope Healthcare.

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