Rotorua Hospice’s Bereavement Support Group

Recently Hospice NZ released the fourth edition of the Hospice NZ Standards of Palliative Care (2019). There are nine Standards in total, developed to support hospices in delivering consistent, best quality end-of-life care regardless of where people live, or the condition they have.

Rotorua Community Hospice Family Support Coordinator, Janine Flowers says, “Our vision is to be the centre of excellence for hospice palliative care in the Rotorua community, and a big part of this is continually looking for ways we can improve. The Standards are clear and structured and help us identify not only areas where we’re doing well, but also where there are gaps. The ‘prompt questions’ are especially helpful as they encourage reflection and conversation and ensure we’re always looking for ways to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients, their families and whānau.

“Rotorua Community Hospice was involved in piloting the Standards, and Standard 6 provided a framework for our team to review our bereavement support procedures. The Standards supported our vision of creating a Bereavement Support Group to connect people in our community who are grieving the death of a loved one. We reached out to Waipuna Hospice and Lake Taupō Hospice for advice and guidance as we developed the programme, and they were fantastic too”.

The peer support group now meets once a month in the warm, comfortable lounge at Rotorua Community Hospice. “There’s a real mix of people attending”, says Janine. “We provide morning tea and a Hospice Bereavement Coordinator is there to welcome people and guide the support group.

It’s about providing a supportive, caring environment where people can connect outside of their family and talk about the journey they are on. Knowing you are not alone and hearing what others find helpful can be really beneficial for people in their grief process. And what we’ve also found is that offering this service has increased the number of people wanting to talk to us one-on-one”.

While the Standards have been written primarily for Hospice services, it is hoped they will be adopted and used to complement the care provided by other palliative care service providers also. To learn more about the Hospice NZ Standards of Palliative Care, please click here.

Hospice NZ acknowledges and thanks all the hospices, health partners and individuals who contributed to the development of the Standards. We believe they will make a significant difference to all those who need Hospice support and services.



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