Rachel Bilton-Simek

On the 12th Wednesday October 

As we updated our syringe drivers throughout Calvary Health Care ACT we recognised we were going to be left with 26 Graseby syringe drivers which here in Australia will be unsuitable for use after August 2012. As a palliative care nurse who has been using these devices throughout our work, I had some fondness for these devices, reflecting on how many patients we had nursed through difficult symptoms that were ameliorated by our practice of using these infusions. After finding a letter written by Dr Frank Brennan regarding a potential “twinning relationship with St Francis Hospice” and contact with Pam Lewis from St Francis it quickly became evident that their patients would benefit from having use of these pumps. 
We are hopeful that their ongoing use in difficult clinical circumstances will continue to add quality of life to those patients living with a life limiting illness. 
So we amassed our Grasebys and thanks to Maree Commens in Assets, Alan Bycroft and Barry Mugridge in Biomed, they were checked & serviced. 
Volunteers from ACT Palliative Care Society cleaned and prepared them for postage. 
Kay Cooper CNC Clare Holland House and I also had a nice chat on ABC 666 to discuss the project. 
St. Francis hospice is set in Port Elizabeth and was established in 1986 as a faith based Palliative care service reaching out to terminally ill cancer and HIV/AIDS patients and their families. They care for an average of 500 patients per day. Their services cover 5 townships!!! You can read more about them at stfrancishospice.za.org. 
We are cogniscent of the issues of supplying countries with outdated equipment and not necessarily the consumables essential for the equipment to be valuable. So after some emails back and forth between myself and the clinicians at St Francis it became apparent that they were familiar with the particular pump we were sending, and had in fact some of the supplies necessary to make them effective in their clinical environment, however with limited funding they often run out of basic things such as 10, 20 and 30 ml syringes, transparent dressings, alcohol wipes, and drawing up needles. 
Funds by the ACT Palliative Care Society and the staff and patients of Calvary amounted to $600. These were kindly donated at our World Hospice morning tea, in (during which our friend Father Bill blessed the packages).The funds will be used to pay for an ongoing provision of supplies. Postage is costly, so we are exploring other avenues of transport (via travellers etc). 
We look forward to finding other ways to enhance our relationship with St Francis hospice, and most of all to support the use of this equipment. 

  • Canberra, Australia
  • Written by: Rachel Bilton-Simek
  • Wednesday, 26 October 2011

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