Making a referral
- A formal referral from the primary medical/surgical team is needed using a yellow consultation request form (QMR003C) which must be faxed to 86233.
- It is important that you discuss the referral with us as well as sending the fax as this assists us with prioritising.
- We can be contacted during working hours via pager or on extension 81473 or 81885 (Monday to Friday, 0830-1700).
- The patient must have knowledge of their disease and of the fact that a referral has been made to the Palliative Care Service (please discuss where concerned).
- If we have previously been referred a patient (within one year) we will see the patient again without requiring a formal referral.
- Specific issues relating to Medical/Surgical and Oncology/Haematology patients are noted below. If you are working in one of these areas, attention to these specific issues will help us liaise effectively.
- We are happy to discuss any referrals you are unsure about and to give telephone advice if required - enquiries are always welcome.
- After hours telephone support is available by contacting the Christchurch Hospital Operator. Ask for the palliative care clinician on call. If required, nursing advice is available from the Nurse Maude Hospice - phone 03 375 4274.
Instructions for Medical/Surgical teams
- Once a referral has been received, we endeavour to see the patient on the same day. Discussion with us prior to faxing is required as it assists us with prioritising.
- We generally review the patient daily (excluding weekends and public holidays) but the patient remains under the care of the referring specialist whose team is still required to see the patient daily. If you wish to see your patient at the same time as the Palliative Care Team, please let us know and we can call you when we arrive on the ward.
- We will contact you directly if we are concerned about your patient or have made major changes to their treatment. Otherwise we will document all our advice and interventions so you can keep up to date with the patient’s status and action any recommendations as appropriate.
- Please contact us, or document clearly, any discharge plans so we can work together. If the patient is discharged at short notice it is essential that we be contacted PRIOR to the patient leaving the ward as we are often responsible for ensuring community services are put in place. We may also write a discharge letter from our Service and need to ensure that our instructions and follow-up plans are consistent with yours.
- We do not take over the care of patients referred to our Service. However, occasionally, after discussion with the referring Specialist, we may transfer the patient to Ward 26. Sometimes it may be appropriate to transfer a patient to the Hospice – this must be discussed with us prior to any discussions with patient or family/whanau.
- If patients known to us from a previous admission are re-admitted, please let us know as soon as possible so we can become re-involved. Patients who are known to the “Nurse Maude Community Palliative Care Service” may benefit from referral to the Hospital Palliative Care Service to facilitate continuity – let us know as soon as possible.
- In cases of advanced cancer post-op, or if there is clearly an ongoing need for analgesics, the Acute Pain Service may recommend that we be involved – please confirm this promptly.
- If you believe that a patient has uncontrolled pain or symptoms, or if there is a high level of emotional distress or anxiety, a referral may be highly appropriate. We are happy to discuss such a case with you if you are concerned.
Instructions for Oncology/Haematology teams
- A major component of Oncology and Haematology is Palliative Care. However, there are occasions when a referral to Specialist Palliative Care is needed – this must be discussed with the Oncologist/Haematologist prior to referral.
- We are happy to be contacted for advice regarding symptom management, morphine titration or rotation, infusions/pumps, sedation issues, etc - an official referral is not always required.
- You may find this run stressful – we are always available for support.
Note: Although we generally visit Ward 26 daily, we are often busy elsewhere in the hospital. If you have a question, contact us or leave a voicemail message.
Topic Code: 4448