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Ipswich end-of-life services on the same page

A new website connecting Ipswich residents to end-of-life care and service, is the only one of its kind in the West Moreton region.

The website westmoretoncareconnect.com.au provides a complete directory of local services, support networks and organisations that can assist people with a life-limiting illness, as well as their carers and families.

It is an initiative of the West Moreton Region Care at the End of Life Collaborative, which was set up in 2018 to improve end-of-life care by addressing gaps in care and access as well as the capability of health workers and professional care givers.

The collaborative is made up of Blue Care, CiMaS Home Nursing Service, Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, Icon Cancer Centre, Ipswich Hospice Care, Mater Private Hospital Springfield, Palliative Care Queensland, Queensland Ambulance Service, St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital and West Moreton Health.

Ipswich Hospice Director of Nursing Carol Hope said the website was created in response to feedback from West Moreton community members and aimed to help people access existing support.

“The feedback from family members who have supported a loved one through end-of-life care was that they often had to go looking for available services by contacting individual care providers to understand their services,” Ms Hope said.

“This website relieves families of all that onerous legwork and presents information about all the great resources and services that exist in West Moreton in one simple location.

Ipswich Hospice Director of Nursing Carol Hope

“We are lucky to have a wealth of quality end-of-life care and support services in West Moreton and we want to make sure people are well informed about their options.”

The website provides a distinctly West Moreton-focused resource for families to understand and access local services that are unique to the region, on top of national support service information.

There is also information to assist health professionals, caregivers and community members to understand more about cultural considerations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples approaching the end of life.

“As well as providing information about palliative care and health services, the website helps connect people with some lesser known support, such as organisations that can assist with taxi vouchers for healthcare appointments or meals, physiotherapists for pain management, legal advice and acute resuscitation plans and even lawn-mowing services.”

The West Moreton Care Connect website also provides education resources for health professionals and professional caregivers involved in end-of-life care.

The launch of the website is tied to Dying to Know Day (8 August) which is an annual day of action dedicated to activating conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement.

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