Fraser Coast Hospice, "A Place of Peace" - Case Study

Tuesday, 9 November, 2021

“A Hospice focuses on end-of-life care centered on quality of life. Staff specialise in providing physical and emotional comfort to the Client and supporting family before and after death” – Jasine Leslie, Nurse Unit Manager GenisisCare Oncology.

For over 20 years Jasine had been caring for patients as a Palliative Care/ Oncology Nurse in Victoria. When she ventured up to Regional QLD, she noticed that there wasn’t a lot of facilities that could offer care for those nearing end-of-life, especially as some of those people were her patients from Oncology.  During September of 2018, one of Jasine’s patients Sally, had been sent in an Ambulance stretcher to a hospital, to sadly pass away 2 days later in Short Stay - unfortunately not even making it to a ward. The experience Jasine had with her patient sparked a fire which resulted in meetings with another doctor, to start conversations about making a change on the Fraser Coast. 

The question was then raised, if only there was a more suitable place, we could have sent Sally and her husband to be supported well in her last days…

A few days passed and Sally’s husband brought in a bunch of flowers for Jasine and her team. These flowers now stand as a special reminder to Jasine and her team as to what they are striving for. Fueled with the passion to make a difference, Jasine then brought together other like-minded healthcare professionals and shared her vision of building a Hospice for the Fraser Coast Community that could provide the enhanced level of care for end-of-life Client’s that was needed on the Fraser Coast.

"Sally's flowers now serve as a reminder of what we are striving for"

The Fraser Coast Hospice Association was then born and in early 2019 became incorporated. Early conversations with MP Keith Pitt proved promising for the Association and from this the writing of the first proposal began, in hopes of gaining funding from the Federal Government. The Association was successful in being granted $7 million by the Liberal Government as part of the Hinkler Regional Deal – Hospitals and Healthcare. With $2.5 million going towards the infrastructure and the remaining funds to be used for operational purposes for the first three years. 

"Our Clinical Consultant, Belinda pictured with former MP Warren Truss"

The Hospice is a free facility, available for anyone over 18 to be used for End-of-Life Care or Symptom Management of palliative symptoms. These can be Cancer patients, Cardiac Disease, Stroke, End Stage Dementia patients or patients with other organ failures. The Fraser Coast Hospice can offer its residents 24-hour care, a warm and comfortable home-like physical environment, focuses on quality not length of life, a team of professionals and volunteers trained to meet the needs of the dying Client and their caregiver. This can involve doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other trained hospice staff and volunteers. It provides pain and symptom control, treats the Client, not the disease, allows the Client, family, and friends to focus on being together, carers can leave at the end of the day to get some much-needed rest and some carers may not want their family member to pass away in their home as it can become a constant reminder of their passing.

Drawing inspiration from other successful Hospice Associations throughout Queensland, the Fraser Coast Hospice Association sought out the perfect piece of land to start construction on the 6-bedroom, stand-alone facility- the land was made available with the help of the Fraser Coast Council on a peppercorn lease. Although it was not all smooth sailing, Jasine faced challenges like securing the funding, securing the appropriate land, and helping the community to understand what a Hospice was and what it was for. The Association were able to secure key research for the region on population numbers, growth, and age, as well as approximate palliative care deaths in Emergency/ Hospital settings which played a key role in overcoming these challenges. Some key findings to mention were that the Fraser Coast is one of the fastest growing regional urban communities in Australia, with over 34,000 residents (33%) being over 60 years of age. The age group projected to have the largest increases on the Fraser Coast is “seniors”- over 70 years of age.

“There are more than 25 people each month dying in our Fraser Coast community from terminal illness, and future demographic projections are that this number will double in the next 15 years”

    "Our Mayor George Seymour pictured in one of the Cuddle Rooms"           

Currently the only options for those nearing the end of their lives are to pass at home, in a nursing home or in a hospital setting. Whilst about 80% of people have a preference to pass in their own home surrounded by family, nationally about 16% achieve this wish. The vast majority die in a hospital, this can be in a busy emergency department or in an acute medical ward. This is why building a facility that could offer this to Client’s and their families was so important to our Team and everyone involved. During the constructions and fit-out phase, the Hospice Project Team, led by Peter Davis, was tasked with sourcing local providers, building strong relationships with trades and suppliers working together to support local businesses and employment across the region.

"Pictured from left to right: George Seymour- Fraser Coast Mayor, Jasine Leslie- NUM/ Founder, Belinda Humberstone- Clinical Consultant at Select Patient Care, Keith Pitt- MP for Hinkler, Dr. James Mackean- Radiation Oncologists/ Chairman of the Board and Dennis Chapman- Councillor"

This is when Select Patient Care was first contacted about the Hospice with the opportunity of being involved in such a great cause and a necessity for our community. Being a family-owned medical equipment supplier of quality product solutions that are Australian made and manufactured locally meant that we were able to provide the Association with personalised customer service, fast lead times and comprehensive factory direct after-sales support. A big part of the funding proposal was making sure that the use of local services and products were used as much as possible- supporting local businesses and communities in the design, build and fit out processes of the project. We were contacted by Robyn Martlew who was in charge of fundraising for the project and our team hastily put forward a proposal to the Association. We were excited about the opportunity to offer the team highly clinical equipment to meet the needs of their Client’s, while at the same time creating a homely aesthetic feel that is suitable for a Hospice environment.

"Belinda pictured with Robyn Martlew in charge of Fundraising for the project. Pictured our 3-in-1 Companion Beds, Critical Care Powered Mattress and San Remo Style Bedside Tables"

Select was able to offer a wide range for selection that ticked all the necessary boxes and supported the Association throughout the entire process to make sure that what was chosen was fit for purpose. The chosen products to fit out the rooms were the ‘Cuddle Beds’- our ­­­3-in-1 Beds, that offer a 300kg capacity, full patient positioning with high-low, Trendelenburg, reverse Trendelenburg as well as floor line capacity for falls minimisation. The Beds were also able to provide a space for partners, children, grandchildren, friends, or pets to sit or lie beside their loved ones and the Bed Head and Footboards have the ability to be customised in a range of colours to suit the style of the rooms and are fully upholstered by a local manufacturer resulting in fast lead times and meet high grade infection control and quality standards. The Beds were coupled with our Critical Care Powered Mattresses which are fully certified to meet the Clinical Guidelines for pressure injury prevention and have been reviewed by Wound Care Specialists across Queensland health for sale into hospitals. The furnishings needed to look like something you would have in a bedroom at home- moving right away from the clinical look of a hospital setting. Our San Remo Style Bedside Tables, Over Bed Tables, Self Help Poles, Aqcura Mobile Shower Commodes and the Domus Chair/ Bed were also chosen to finish off the complete set up of the rooms.

"Pictured our 3-in-1 Bed, Critical Care Powered Mattress, Over Bed Table and San Remo Style Bedside Table"

We not only fitted out the rooms but also provided efficient and effective storage space in the staff areas for critical clinical equipment in the way of our wire bin packages. Our wire bin packages are all manufactured from durable chrome plated steel wire to prevent accumulation of dust meeting infection control standards for the facility.

“It was refreshing to have someone who knew what we were looking for and understood our needs and wishes and had the same passion to provide the environment we wanted to provide for people at this stage in their lives”- Jasine Leslie, NUM.

 "Our wire bin packages prevent accumulation of dust. Choose from a variety of configurations that can be tailored to suit the needs of you facility"

The products chosen were extremely important as they had decided early on in the design process that they wanted the Hospice to be available to guests and Select Patient Care provided just this. Also, it was key that the products created a homelike atmosphere in looks, rather than just clinical. A Hospice should resemble a home not a hospital and this is something the was achieved with the help of Select. With the support of a few non-for-profit organisations like The Rotary Club and other local businesses the Hospice opened its doors to the community on October 8th. The Select Team had the privilege of being invited along to see how our products were able to transform the rooms towards a homelike atmosphere for the Client’s. It was also lovely to meet the individuals responsible for creating a safe, and well-suited environment for those people at this stage of their lives. The products all worked together and looked beautiful, but it was also just the right amount of ‘Clinical’ to make caring for the Client’s as easy as possible.

"Working with Select Patient Care was easy, convenient and very helpful. The Team at Select were very helpful initially on the phone and via email, and then were able to assist us with face-to-face meetings and reviews of the equipment we needed. They understood our needs- especially with our ‘Cuddle Beds’, and homelike features and worked hard to make sure they could offer what we were looking for” – Jasine Leslie, NUM.

"Belinda pictured with founder and NUM, Jasine Leslie"

The rooms were all unique in their design and set up and the Beds and Mattresses were fitted out with locally hand-made quilts for the perfect finishing touch. Our Domus chairs provide family and guests with a place to rest and stay overnight with loved ones without compromising on comfort. Fast forward a few weeks later after opening day and our Team are still working closely with the Association to provide them with constant support and supply of products that they need. The Association has added our Breezy Basix Wheelchairs, Deluxe Bedside Commodes, Juvo Attendant Commodes, and a patient lifter to cater for their Client’s needs. We are delighted and honoured to have been apart of such an amazing project, that offers quality, holistic, end of life care.

The Domus Chair/ Bed is the perfect addition to the rooms, making sure family, guests or carers can have a comfortable night's sleep. The 'Green Room' was designed with the 3-in-1 single Bed, Critical Care Powered Mattress, Over Bed Table, Domus Chair/ Bed and San Remo Style Bedside Table"

“Thank you so much Select Patient Care for your understanding, professionalism and care. It made working with you such a good experience.” – Jasine Leslie, NUM.

From the Team here at Select Patient Care we would like to thank the Fraser Coast Hospice Association for allowing us to be part of bringing your dreams to life and successfully opening a fantastic facility for the community. The Hospice now stands as a ‘Place of Peace’ for all!

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