Health Insights

Medibank’s palliative care at home trial

Giving our customers choice in where they would like to receive their end-of-life care can provide dignity, privacy and help them retain control over the care they receive.

Written by Editor Medibank

There is no ‘right’ place to die, and of course we do not always get the opportunity to decide where we die. But when given the option, most people want to die comfortably and in the surroundings of their choice.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is care that helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness1. It is designed around the person’s needs and preferences with the main goal being to improve the patient’s quality of life.

When a person requires palliative care, their needs, as well as those of their carers and family, often increase. Additional services and support are then required to ensure the person receives quality, coordinated care and the family has the support they need.

What is Palliative Care at Home?

Many people have a preference to die at home2. This means the patient can receive the care and support needed while surrounded by their family, friends and pets, all in the comfort and privacy of their home.

At Medibank, we want our customers to have choice over where they receive their end-of-life care. For customers who are eligible and clinically appropriate to participate in our Palliative Care at Home trial, we bring a team of palliative care specialists into the home. The team may include doctors, nurses, social workers, counsellors, pastoral care workers and trained volunteers who’ll look after the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of the person, and provide practical and emotional support for their family.

Where is the Palliative Care at Home trial available?

Medibank’s Palliative Care at Home trial is currently available in several locations around Australia. They are:

  • Metropolitan Brisbane
  • Metropolitan Perth
  • Northern Sydney
  • Townsville and surrounding areas

In all locations, Medibank partners with specialist palliative care providers who deliver the services to our customers, provided they have eligible hospital cover which is up to date and includes palliative care treatment. Customers must also have served the required waiting period and have a referral from their treating doctor.

Services provided to eligible customers are based on an assessment of individual need and include nursing, medical, psychosocial support, respite, allied health, domestic assistance and equipment provision.

Along with visits from the care team, eligible customers have access to 24-hour telephone support from registered palliative care nurses. A bereavement care follow-up service is also available to the customer’s families and carers.

Expanding Medibank at Home

Palliative Care at Home is just one program in a suite of Medibank at Home trials available for eligible and clinically appropriate customers to give them more choice when it comes to where they receive care.

While palliative care at home is still a trial, we’re hoping it will lead to a national roll-out, providing more Medibank customers with the choice to receive care where they most want it.

To find out more about the Palliative Care at Home trial or any of the other Medibank at Home services, including your eligibility, please call the Medibank at Home team on 1300 733 338 between 9am and 5pm AEST, Monday – Friday or email medibank.home@medibank.com.au.

1 https://palliativecare.org.au/what-is-palliative-care

2 https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/815-dying-well.pdf

Written by Editor Medibank

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