Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Public health and palliative care volunteering

Alex Huntir and Linda Hansen from Palliative Care NSW have recently been accepted to speak about volunteering and public health at the Public Health and Palliative Care International (PHPCI) Conference in Ottawa, September 2017.

With a mere 3 months left to run in the Volunteer Support Services Programme one of our final tasks is to draft the Statewide Framework for Palliative Care Volunteering in NSW. The Statewide Framework will feature in the PHPCI presentation, as outlined below.

Maybe we will see you in Ottawa?

Beyond the spotlight: Developing a public health framework for palliative care volunteers

Volunteer involvement is a well-established feature of end of life care. Volunteering bridges formal and informal care, clinical and non-clinical care and the expert-lay divide. Volunteer services are often more intimately focussed on private moments of health than public approaches to health. The health services with whom volunteers are in collaboration have an enduring interest in scalability and quality as the basis for measures of efficiency. So how do we overlay a population health framework onto a grassroots activity in a way that respects the mission of palliative care volunteers and that also responds to the need for each palliative care service to demonstrate accountability and continuous improvement? This presentation will look at the work of a statewide palliative care volunteer development programme (2014-2017) and the path taken to determine a statewide framework for palliative care volunteering. The programme grew from a simple quandary: ‘how do we increase access to volunteers for people and carers in palliative care across NSW particularly for people at home?’ The presentation will put into context the need to develop a body of knowledge about palliative care volunteering, and the themes that emerged from this research. The presentation will also consider the tensions, obstacles, narratives and the competing interests in palliative care volunteering revealed during the work of the initiative. The final elements of the statewide framework will also be considered, with reflections from the presenters about the success or otherwise of the initiative.

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