Getting End of Life care right for patients, families and staff at hospitals in Portlaoise, Offaly and Kildare #watch

New End of Life Care Coordinator for hospitals in Laois, Offaly and Kildare

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

A new End of Life Care Coordinator has commenced work in Portlaoise, Tullamore and Naas hospitals where she will help patients, families and staff with the provision of care in the final stages of life.

Zara Dagg, who took up the post in February is responsible for leading on, supporting and coordinating all activities associated with end of life care across Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise and Naas General Hospital.

The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group says Zara aims to ensure a seamless care pathway for service users requiring end of life care across inpatient, community and homecare settings, as well as acute and day services.

A statement said that as part of the implementation of the Hospice Friendly Hospital’s Quality Standards for End of Life Care in Hospitals, Zara would focus on staff, patients, families and the hospital environment. It said Zara is acutely aware of the importance of ensuring all service users get the right care, at the right time, by the right people and in the right place.

Zara has a role in education and training, audit and research, improving the hospital environment, ensuring practical resources and support for relatives, and advocacy for patients, families and staff.

"End of life care matters to us all and as healthcare professionals, we have an opportunity to make a difference to help people live as well as possible for as long as possible. I aim to support and empower staff to deliver holistic, compassionate, person-centred care from diagnosis of a life-limiting illness throughout their illness trajectory for bereavement support and also for sudden unexpected deaths," she said.

Zara says she would be delighted to hear from staff of all disciplines, patients, their families and carers, or any other interested individuals, about all matters regarding end of life care and how we can build on the quality of palliative care provision in our hospitals.

Louisea Burke, Director of Nursing, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore commented: “We are delighted to welcome Zara to the team here in the midlands and we look forward to working with her to enhance existing supports and services available for patients and families and for the staff working in the region.”

Head of Healthcare Programmes at Irish Hospice Foundation is Siobán O'Brien Green, "This is a hugely positive development for our long-established Hospice Friendly Hospitals (HFH) programme in partnership with the HSE which now counts over 45 hospitals nationwide working towards improving the end-of-life care they deliver through HFH. We are delighted to welcome the expansion of HFH through this post and are really looking forward to working with Zara as part of our HFH National End-of-Life Care Co-ordindator Network."

Zara has a background in Nursing in Tallaght University Hospital and Nurse Management in Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services and St. Brigid’s Hospice, Kildare. She has also studied for an M.Sc. in Palliative Care at Trinity College Dublin.