7 March 2023
A huge thank you to all those who donated and collected for the annual Hospice Southland Street Appeal on February 10.
The final total came to just over $26,000 from 28 sites throughout Southland and the Wakatipu basin. These funds enable us to offer palliative care to those in our community free of charge.
More than 100 volunteers generously gave of their time throughout the day to collect for us. Thank you for all your continued support and commitment to help us, we couldn’t do it without you.
Thanks must also go to the Southland Times, Media Works, NZME and Radio Southland for their help with promoting this year’s street appeal.
Once again, a very heartfelt thank you to our supportive community.
7 March 2023
Many of you will have heard rumblings about how poorly run our New Zealand health service is – that’s a big picture and I suspect there is a lot of mismanagement and cost overruns in various parts of the monolithic structure. Overall, it gives very good service with some darned hard-working staff who give their all.
Hospice Southland gets about 42% of its funding from the government and quite frankly it’s not enough. But through you, our generous community, we manage to keep our heads above water. Next year may be different as the whole hospice sector struggles to make ends meet and yet keep the wonderful service we provide for patients with an end-of-life diagnosis and support for their families. Extra government funding will be needed.
I’ve been doing some quantitative reviews about how many people do we have in our region and how many of those who die have hospice care and how many don’t, either because they choose not to, don’t require it, or are hidden from us and we don’t offer it them.
Our numbers are interesting. The total population we serve is 140,940 and that comes from 59,335 in Invercargill, 13,270 in Gore, 34,440 in Queenstown and 33,895 in the Southland rural region. Around 890 people die a year and last year we gave clinical, emotional and spiritual care to 330 of these. Most had cancer, but about 100 did not. They died from lung and chest disease or a variety of other conditions. Our patients’ health issues are becoming more complex.
This is where the qualitative reviews come in. Surveys from patients, their family members and other health professionals tell us how well we are doing. Usually, it is very positive, but it’s a complex health environment.
Our population is expected to grow over the next 15 years. While Gore and Southland will stay much the same with very modest growth rates predicted, the interesting one is Queenstown Lakes District – that’s Queenstown, Wanaka and Hawea – which is expected to challenge Invercargill for top population position by about 2038.
One of the things we consider at board governance level is whether our current hospice will be fit for purpose in future. What will need to change? We are already planning on a bigger place in Queenstown.
All these future questions need to be considered while continuing to provide the best possible care for our patients, their families and whānau and keep a supportive happy environment for our staff and volunteers. Really, I keep saying this but without our strong volunteer team we could not do half of what we need to.
The future will be challenging but I’m sure together we will manage it.
After reviewing current health guidelines, Hospice Southland management has dropped the signing-in and temperature check requirements for visitors to the IPU and the office.
The times that family and friends can visit patients has reverted to the pre-pandemic hours of operation, as below:
All our hospice shops are open and customers do not need to wear a mask.
Everyone living in Southland and the Wakatipu Basin has access to the highest quality palliative care.