Hospice funding enables innovation
As New Zealand’s population ages, hospices face an increasing number of referrals for their services. Last year, New
Zealand’s hospices provided care and support for more than 18,000 people and their families – a number expected to grow
significantly over the next decade.
Mary Schumacher, Chief Executive of Hospice New Zealand, says the Health Minister’s recognition of the challenges ahead
for the palliative care sector is reassuring. In 2014, the Government committed $24.1 million over four years to
hospices to support new, innovative and ongoing services working with aged residential care and primary care.
Hospice New Zealand began an intensive project to provide a national process to support its member hospices to access
these funds. More than 15 proposals have now been approved, with several more in the advanced stages of planning.
A key feature of the process has been the opportunity for hospices to collaborate with other health care providers in
their regions, identifying and designing roles to specifically meet the needs of their local communities. “Now, more
than ever, there is a need for health care providers to work together to meet the palliative care needs of an aging
population”, says Ms. Schumacher. “The hospice philosophy of care is about ensuring people can access the best possible
care at the end of life, regardless of where they choose to be cared for, where they live or what condition they have.”
Clinical nurse specialists, allied care professionals, nurse practitioners, Maori and Pacific liaison and education
specialists are just some of the positions that have been created to directly meet the palliative care needs of people
in aged residential care and primary care.
“This has been an exciting, challenging and collaborative way of working for our hospices, their partners, DHBs and the
Ministry of Health” says Ms. Schumacher.