Last Saturday morning I had an early start, making my way to the airport in order to fly down to Wellington for the annual ANZSPM (Australia New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine) Aotearoa (Kiwi branch) conference. A great chance for NZ Palliative Care doctors to catch up with each other, share hugs and teach each other new things.The first talk of the day was a boisterous presentation on End-stage liver disease presented by local Gastroenterologist Dr Stephen Inns. The question that Stephen had to pose a number of times was when would it be appropriate for a palliative care referral to be made for patients with end-stage liver disease.
Live tweets from this lectures and others during the day can be found on my twitter feed: @japmanforever
Next up were reports from International conferences in which I, in a rather impromptu manner, shared some of my learnings from Taiwan’s APHC 2015 and Melbourne’s ANZSPM Medical and Surgical Update. Dr Annabelle Dunn reported back from Sobell House, Oxford and the Symptom management course she had attended.
Dr Amanda Landers (ANZSPM Aotearoa chair) then showed off her excellent presentation skills, by presenting to all that were present and accounted for, a talk about presentation skills, being present, and having stage presence. Quite a gift that Amanda gave to us all, no actually a lovely present, the slides are presently available @japmanforever.
The rest of the morning was filled with talks from Dr Brian Ensor updating us on what Hospice New Zealand were up to. Then our extra special VIP guest A/Prof. Mark Boughey from Melbourne took us to the lunch break.
Following the midday meal, discussions were had about the currently vexing issue of verbal medication orders, with patient-centric focus seeming to have been a casualty in the ongoing debates. Leadership in Palliative Care was the next item on the agenda, and unification of the disparate voices of the NZ Palliative Care groups was lamented on, and talk of a possible alliance formation started. Palliative Care New Zealand anyone?
The Haematologist who had been scheduled to speak next was a victim of severe jet lag and had forgotten all about the speaking engagement. Oops. Lecture could possibly be tweeted as “#new thrombolytics, from lizards, can be swallowed, no tests required, bye bye DVTs.”
Dr Kate Grundy ably filled the gap with her lecture about Euthanasia, a topic which has been in the NZ headlines for most of this year. Live tweeted slides, you know where…
Two advanced trainees presented their projects, and did great jobs doing so.
Rhonda Sheriff then gave us an insight into places that an increasing numbers of our elderly citizens will be calling home in the very near future, aged residential care facilities (ARCFs.) The many issues involved and challenges ahead were discussed. They need our help in the form of training and mentoring. Are you ready to step up and engage in improving palliative care provision in ARCFs? I’ll see you there.
Dr Sinead Donnelly – Wordsmith extra-ordinaire and master story-teller, finished an enjoyable day by leaving us spellbound with stories that she shared about her past two years of working in Acute General Medicine. She is one brave lady. I don’t know about you, but at times I still have nightmares about being on nights as a Gen Med Reg.
An enjoyable dinner was followed by a quiz supplied by the ever-entertaining Dr Brian Ensor. Conversation about how we would all change the world rounded out the night, as usual.
The next morning was taken up by the annual business meeting, with very interesting reports from national bodies, and from the different regions of NZ. It was great to hear how other people are approaching very similar issues in their own neck of the woods. It is nice to know that we are not alone in banging our heads against the same walls.
Thanks for a very productive weekend, until next year my friends…