Last year we were fortunate to meet the lovely Dr Emily Mackeith who came to visit us from Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice in Oxford, UK. She came from April to June 2013 to spend time with us at Ricardo Gutiérrez Children´s Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Dr Emily Mackeith worked with us in the Pediatric Palliative Care Unit, both on the wards and in the outpatient clinics. She generously shared her thoughts, contributing a lot to the day to day activities. It was very interesting and useful for both Emily and ourselves, to share our experiences and we learnt much from each other.
We hope to continue this relationship between the Palliative Care Teams of England and Argentina in order to build upon the learning.
Emily had this to say about the experience:
Between April and June 2013 I had the good fortune to work with Dr Eulalia Lascar and her team providing paediatric palliative care at Ricardo Gutierrez Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The setting was quite different to the hospice setting I am accustomed to in England, as the team worked out of an office in the Hospital itself, providing both in-reach work on the wards as well as offering outpatient consultations.
It was very interesting to see the wide range of cases at this public hospital and, at times, poignant to see such different pathology and advanced stages of disease. I was made to feel very welcome by the team members and was hugely impressed by their dedication to this group of patients with such difficult medical and social problems.
The team is a diverse group of 4 doctors, a supporting oncology nurse, psychologists, social workers and an impressive array of complementary-therapy volunteers in Reiki, Meditation and Art, amongst others. They also offer fellowship positions to other paediatricians with an interest in developing skills in palliative care. Although there are issues with regards to a lack of resources in the hospital, the team overcomes these difficulties admirably, providing high level individualized patient care and is constantly striving to improve their service.
I learnt much from my time there and hope to remain in contact with Eulalia so we can share our experiences of paediatric palliative care and continue to learn from one another.
If you would like to know more about the fellowship opportunities you can send an email to Dr Lascar.