New Supportive Care Service

A new multi-disciplinary supportive care outpatient clinic has been established at St George Hospital, as part of a broader expansion of palliative care services.

Patients from the St George and Sutherland Shire areas who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and need early palliative care and symptom management will be eligible to receive a referral to the Supportive Care Service.

Dr Isuru Ratnayake, Community Supportive Care Specialist, explained the clinic will focus on community-based patients who have a diagnosis of chronic non-cancer, life-limiting illnesses such as end-stage respiratory disease, chronic heart failure, chronic liver disease, progressive neurological conditions or multiple co-morbidities who are estimated to be within the last 12 months of life.

“The purpose of this clinic is to connect with patients when they are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness so that we can provide support and care for them during the final year or two of their life, ultimately improving the patient’s quality of life out of hospital,” Isuru said.

The clinic provides care by a multidisciplinary team with broad expertise in the complex issues that arise with these patients, including a Palliative Medicine Specialist, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Social Worker, Speech Pathologist, Dietitian and Psychologist. 

Monita Mesuria, Clinical Nurse Consultant said: “We hope to improve outcomes for patients in the community with chronic diseases who may be deteriorating or have complex needs and would benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to their care.”

The clinic offers management of complex pain or symptoms, associated with the life-limiting illness. This could include management of nutrition, swallowing, communication, mobility, facilitating referrals or linking to relevant services, and psychosocial and spiritual support. The clinic operates out of St George Hospital on a Tuesday morning.

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A multidisciplinary team at St George Hospital standing in a corridor