Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Medicine in London

I realize that I haven't yet talked much about my work here.  I am only able to observe, so I am learning from the palliative care team here.  I have been to visit several pediatric hospices in the greater London area (Richard House and Shooting Star) as well as on several home visits with other physicians.  It is re-assuring to see that the approach and treatments are mostly the same.  There are some nuances with regards to use of certain medications, but mostly we are using the same meds and doses.
Hallway at Shooting Star

Looking into playroom at Shooting Star.

I have particularly enjoyed team's multidisciplinary rounds which occur weekly.  At this meeting team members can share updates on complex or unstable patients and receive input from others.  This allows all team members to be more involved as needed.  For example a patient may be discussed whose parents are having trouble coping, this alerts the team social worker who can then follow up with them

There is also an excellent research team working with the clinical palliative care team.  I have been able to participate in some brainstorming sessions as they work to prepare posters for an upcoming conference.  I will meet the researchers more later this week as I hope to build relationships between Ottawa and London to share research ideas.

I will be visiting Helen House in Oxford next week.  This was the first children's hospice in the world, opening 30 years ago.  Douglas House which is partnered with Helen House is a hospice for teenagers and young adults, as this group really benefits from a unique space which focuses on their needs, which are different from those of younger children, but also from those of most older adults who access a hospice.

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