Moree Hospital begins 'Into the Dreaming' palliative care project

INTO THE DREAMING: HNELHD acute service manager Bronwyn Cosh, Aboriginal Healt Unit coordinator Mehi and West Peel Sectors Candice Dahlstrom and HNELHD Mehi sector general manager David Quirk with the artwork that will be used with palliative care
INTO THE DREAMING: HNELHD acute service manager Bronwyn Cosh, Aboriginal Healt Unit coordinator Mehi and West Peel Sectors Candice Dahlstrom and HNELHD Mehi sector general manager David Quirk with the artwork that will be used with palliative care

The Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) and Aboriginal Health Unit launched the 'Into the Dreaming' palliative care project at Moree Hospital on Thursday, February 21.

Thursday was the first launch across the district. There are four main sites, Moree, Taree, Tamworth and Newcastle and from those there are another 11 sites.

Along the way consulting Elders and significant others, the booklet and the artworks were developed, telling stories of people and their journeys through palliative care.

Aboriginal Health Unit project coordinator Rose Wadwell said the resources have been designed by Aboriginal people and to help raise awareness, but to also ensure they feel safe and welcome in palliative care.

"It's a very beautiful resource, there's lots of artwork, there's a lot of storytelling," she said.

"Aboriginal people, we support each other through our journeys, our stories and we've got a lot of traditional ways, we are very diverse people in our sickness journey."

Mrs Wadwell said the Aboriginal Health Unit visited nine different communities to consult on cultural wisdom for palliative care and what the resources should look like.

"We know there is little or no uptake of Aboriginal people to palliative care services. This is not okay," she said.

"HNELHD Aboriginal health staff and clinical staff across the district had voiced the need for it.

"We had to go back to one community a couple of times because they wouldn't even talk. They didn't want to know so they were really frightened, living 'Into the Dreaming' every day, that shows the reason this is so important."

She said it was important for people to start planning their sickness journey 'Into the Dreaming' and making sure they begin palliative care once they have been told there is no curable care, that next stage is palliative.

The resources allow for those in palliative care to tell their families what's important to them but also make it welcoming.

"This artwork, and the resources will ensure that Aboriginal people feel welcome in palliative," Mrs Wadwell said.