In a bid to improve end-of-life and palliative care for residents in Residential Aged Care, Juniper is participating in an innovative 18-month pilot program which aims to deliver best practice care.

Commissioned by WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care Juniper is one of four aged care providers in Western Australia participating in the program.

The pilot program aims to promote adoption of best practice to improve quality of care and demonstrate the benefit of a dedicated coordination resource to facilitate case coordination, decrease administrative burden on GPs, and increase efficiency to deliver quality primary, end-of-life, and palliative care.

“Delivering respectful, compassionate, consistent, best-practice end-of-life and palliative care in Residential Aged Care is vitally important for our customers and can make a real difference for family, friends and our staff,” Juniper Residential Executive Director Dan Norgard said.

“Juniper is already benefiting from utilising the assessments and care management practices which are being adopted from the Palliative Aged Care Outcomes Program. Currently, there is no national measure of palliative care provided to residents in the residential aged care sector.

“Whilst early in this pilot, family representatives and care teams are grateful to have a single point of contact and our staff are enthusiastic with this innovative approach. The pilot program’s success will provide crucial insights into how best to improve the provision of end-of-life palliative care across the aged care sector,” he said.

The Palliative Aged Care Outcomes Program, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care through the University of Wollongong, helps Residential Aged Care homes to embed the use of standardised outcomes assessments and tools, and to use the information gathered to respond in a timely way.

Juniper has been participating in the program since early 2023 at its Juniper Hayloft Residential Aged Care Home in Martin and Juniper Sarah Hardey Residential Aged Care Home in Kelmscott with a dedicated coordinator appointed to lead the program and work with care staff, GP’s, family and other representatives.

Juniper has plans to integrate the assessment tools used in this pilot into current systems to provide a consistent means of measuring and assessing the quality of care; provide after-hours care plans to avoid unnecessary admissions to hospitals; link to telehealth and My Health Records to ensure all those involved in care, including residential aged care, doctors and hospitals, all have timely access to the same health information.

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