Speaking at the launch of the HCA Hospice Care ‘Star PALS’, Dr Amy Khor welcomed the innovative home palliative care programme to support children and teenagers aged 19 and below. In her speech she spoke of the need to develop a cost effective model of care for children and said that the Star PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) programme offers support with a clinical multidisciplinary team, comprising doctors, nurses, counsellors, therapists and medical social workers, who would bring holistic palliative care for the child and the child’s family to their own homes, reducing unnecessary travels and admissions to the acute hospitals.
She described the two novel elements included in Star PALS thus: ‘Firstly, patients may benefit from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. For example, chest physiotherapy can be provided for those with chronic chest problems; and dieticians can provide nutritional advice for tube-fed children. Secondly, Star PALS also aims to relieve the tremendous burden of caregiving by providing short respites at home using a group of specially trained care staff called medi-minders.’ She added that ‘this holistic paediatric care model would only succeed in collaboration with other partner organisations, such as the paediatric units in acute hospitals like KK Hospital and National University Hospital, alongside social services such as the Children’s Cancer Foundation. Through this, Star PALS hopes to create a strong infrastructure in the community to support these children and their families in time of need.’
You can find out more about Star PALS at the website: http://www.starpals.sg