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Wendy Scott

Project:

Jamshedpur

Bio:

I have enjoyed nursing for 20 years, working in a variety of areas including Northern and Central Australia and 4 years in the UK. I have been working in the specialty of Palliative Care since 1997 and have had 7 years recent experience in senior nurse roles in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas and in all 3 forms of palliative care service delivery: consultancy, inpatient and community services, and the last 2 years as a Clinical Nurse Consultant.

I was the first Regional Coordinator of the Kimberly Palliative Care Service (KPCS) when it was reestablished under state administration in 2003 and was instrumental in the development of a strategic vision and an effective, culturally appropriate, model of care delivery, demonstrating improved accessibility to service and enhanced capacity in the 3.5 years I was in the position. While with the KPCS, I was project officer for several projects including a 2.5 year Commonwealth Caring Community Project ‘Accessing Palliative Care in the Kimberley’s Remote communities.

I have travelled extensively and independently world wide, including North and South America, but my favourite travel has been 4 months in Africa. I have always been interested in marginalized populations, and have enjoyed the privilege and to work with Australia’s Indigenous people. When attending a 2 week Palliative Care Course sponsored by Kings College in the UK a few years ago, I met many palliative care services providers from developing countries and it highlighted to me huge gaps in knowledge, access and resources. Most recently a practitioner from India spent some time learning from us, at my last work place. Their passion for their work was inspiring. My travel and work experiences has highlighted to me the great opportunities I personally have, and have planned to volunteer overseas in some capacity in the future to see if I can assist in some way.

Project Focus

As some of you may be aware, in early 2016 the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) held four ‘APHN Dialogs’, in which clinicians across the Asia Pacific region could link in through Skype to attend a webinar. The following webinars took place:

- A discussion of palliative care service development in the Asia Pacific region, presented by Odette Spruyt
- Pain control in palliative care by Yoshiyuki Kizawa from Kobe, Japan
- Management of the cancer wound by Edward Poon from Singapore
- Bereavement care by Jun-Hua Lee from Taiwan

These sessions were well received and provided a valuable opportunity for clinicians in different countries to learn from an expert in that field and also to share their own professional experiences. Unfortunately, not all countries in the region have reliable internet coverage or sufficient bandwidth so some attendees were unable to join the meetings. In response to this, in recent months APLI has been looking at a new educational initiative in partnership with APHN.

Project Focus aims to set up online discussion groups between palliative care clinicians in specific countries in the Asia Pacific region and APLI mentors. Some nascent palliative care centres struggle with isolation, limited practitioner experience and variable institutional support. In effect, Project Focus would work towards similar objectives to Project Hamrahi: to improve the capacity for best practice patient care in the local setting and to reduce the isolation of palliative care providers in emergent services.

APLI is therefore calling for expressions of interest for mentors to volunteer their services to help support our regional partners. Project Focus would particularly suit clinicians who might otherwise find it difficult to travel overseas for mentoring work, as the contact will be online using a small group discussion format on the ‘Slack’ communication platform. APHN has already identified local clinicians in two separate services in remote and regional Indonesia who would like to be partnered with APLI mentors. In addition to this, there has also been some interest from doctors in Vietnam, Brunei and Nepal whose learning needs were unable to be supported by the APHN Dialogs.

Although the exact process will be flexible, it is proposed that education would begin with case presentations from the local APHN clinicians. These would then serve as a springboard for the APLI mentors to explain current evidence based practice recommendations. The subsequent discussion would then take into account local factors such as medication availability, local resources, staffing and other factors such that a viable and culturally appropriate management plan can be formulated.

I hope that you will share our excitement for this initiative. Project Hamrahi has demonstrated the value of teams of mentors made up of both doctors and nurses working together with local Indian clinicians over a sustained period of time. Project Focus has the potential to broaden the scope of such partnerships to other countries and so I invite you to contact me via chairman@apli.net.au with a short biography and reflection on why you would wish to work as a mentor.

- Anil Tandon

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Your donations to APLI help in the following ways:

assist with training of doctors and nurses in palliative care practice in developing nations

support nurses to travel and teach as part of Project Hamrahi

help with purchase of critical site resources such as essential equipment and supplies,  medicines and educational materials