Productive partnerships for palliative care

St John of God Health Care is working with another leading Catholic organisation to ensure their palliative care follows best-practice models.

St John of God Health Care palliative care partnership

2 November 2018

Catholic organisation MercyCare, which runs health care, aged care and disability and community services in WA, has sought St John of God Health Care’s Group Manager Pastoral Services Eleanor Roderick to provide input on their palliative care model.

Eleanor is helping MercyCare develop an approach to caring for people in their final phase of life, upholding that person’s dignity and respecting their spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs.

“This project will also develop a pastoral services framework for bereavement support which I have extensive experience in having developed a contemporary model of pastoral care in my current role as well as my previous role as the St John of God Murdoch Community Hospice’s inaugural manager,” Eleanor said.

“Sanctity of life is a fundamental underpinning of the Catholic Church’s understanding of human existence. This understanding informs how we develop our palliative care and pastoral models at St John of God Health Care and I am excited to be able to use my experience to inform MercyCare’s work in this area.”

MercyCare’s Executive Director Aged Care Services Jo Penman said it was fantastic to be able partner with St John of God Health Care and benefit from Eleanor’s expertise and experience in developing a quality, person-centered model of palliative care designed specifically for the aged care setting.

“There are clear similarities between our organisations as we both provide mission-based services to the WA community,” she said.

“Catholic healthcare organisations provide up to half of all palliative care services in Australia so it makes sense that we draw on the expertise in our like-minded organisations to continue enhancing our care.”

Eleanor said Pope Francis’ Address to Pontifical Academy in March 2015 inspired her work in palliative care.

“He said palliative care was a testimony that the human person is always precious, even if marked by illness and age. This is why, when their life becomes very fragile and the end of their early existence approaches, we feel the responsibility to assist and accompany them in the best way possible,” she said.

“I firmly believe that when someone is approaching the end of their life, whether that is in a hospital or aged care or community care facility, they need to be welcomed with compassionate care and respect for their dignity.”