Update: November 2013
It is with regret and disappointment that we announce that a decision has been made to not proceed with the home nursing project. Our Vision is to double the number of survivors by 2020 and the board have decided to focus our efforts on research and the outcomes from the National Pancreatic Cancer Research Strategy. There has been no loss of funding from the project’s closure. Unfortunately there is a lot involved to get this sort of initiative off the ground and it takes our resources off our key objective to double the survival rates. We will revisit this again in the future but to make this work requires the combined help of specialists, governments and community support.
Avner’s Foundation launched a two-year, $430,000 project into supporting direct services for Pancreatic Cancer patients in January 2013.
The Avner Nahmani PANcare Home Nursing Project will involve patients with Pancreatic Cancer from major hospitals and community palliative care services in metropolitan Melbourne. The Department of Pain and Palliative Care and the Department of Nursing and Supportive Care Research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Australia’s only comprehensive cancer centre, will lead it.
The Project will test an innovative new model of comprehensive care planning for patients with advanced Pancreatic Cancer to improve quality of care at the end of life. Central to this will be placing specially trained palliative care nurses in patients’ homes during what is recognised as the most difficult stage of their illness – the night time hours of their final days.
Pain and other symptoms can worsen at night. International evidence shows that patients with cancer are more anxious (which worsens perceptions of symptoms, particularly pain) and feel more isolated during the night. Family carers of patients with advanced cancer report that night time can be a particularly challenging and distressing time. Specialist nurses with expertise in end of life care and complex symptom management can improve quality of care, patient and family experiences, facilitate consultation with medical teams, coordination of hospital admissions if necessary and provision of much needed respite to the carer.
This project sets out to test a model of care that enables patients who express a wish to end their days in their own home to fulfil their wishes as a consequence of excellent care planning and symptom management.