Successful workshop informs on the development of a guide for perinatal palliative care in South Africa

Categories: Policy.

The 34th Conference on Priorities in Perinatal Care was recently held at Champagne Sports Resort in the majestic Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal from 17-20 March 2015.   

A workshop at the conference on neonatal and perinatal palliative care held on Thursday 18 March and led by members from Palliative Treatment for Children in South Africa (PATCH-SA) and the Mowbray Maternity Hospital was extremely well attended, with over 65 delegates attending, an indication of the growing level of interest in the topic. 

The aim of the workshop was to get input from across the sector on the drafting of a guide on perinatal and neonatal palliative care. This is an ongoing process, and delegates and interested groups will be given other opportunities to give more input and feedback on the guide during the course of this year.

This workshop follows last year’s production by PATCH SA of an excellent documentary film entitled Beginnings and Endings, found on their website and which documents the journey of four Cape Town based families and professionals involved in the care of neonates with a life-threatening or life-limiting condition.

Workshop attendees were divided into 5 groups, each of which were given a case study from which they were asked to identify and discuss any problems related to the case and what would be needed to rectify the same. These groups were then divided up again to tackle individual issues. It was also an opportunity for delegates to explore and consider how to network and collaborate with other service providers in order to serve the best interests of their patients. 

At the end of the group working session a nurse educator commented, “This has made me realise that in South Africa we don’t all have the skills or the guidance necessary to cope with adverse situations such as we discussed. We definitely need to have clear policy and procedures in place to ensure the best care possible for our patients, even in such difficult circumstances.” 

PATCH SA would like to express their gratitude to Dr Lucy Linley from the Mowbray Maternity Hospital and Dr Michelle Meiring who together with their network partners, ICPCN and Umduduzi, Hospice Care for Children, expertly facilitated this workshop. 

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