Hospice pioneers new technique

Keech staff nurse Mel Davis with one of the new syringe drivers
Keech staff nurse Mel Davis with one of the new syringe drivers

Keech Hospice Care is pioneering a new palliative care technique and helping terminally ill patients in South Africa at the same time.

New regulations dictate that existing battery-operated syringe drivers – which deliver drugs at a controlled rate over a specific time – are replaced with new high tech models.

These are now in use at the hospice while the old ones have been donated to Cape Town-based charity Abundant Life, which provides medical equipment to enable patients to receive end-of-life care in their own homes.

Syringe drivers are useful when two or more drugs may be required to control symptoms and are particularly suited to palliative care.

Keech clinical director Liz Searle said: “It seemed only right that we were the first to pioneer the devices in the area.”

She added: “What makes it even better is knowing that not only are our patients benefitting but others in South Africa are gaining too.”

Staff nurse Mel Davis said the new equipment was easy and intuitive for nurses to use: “It includes a comprehensive range of features designed to maximise safe and simple administration of medication.”

The hospice has been working closely with Rotary to ensure that the old syringe drivers will help others instead of simply being scrapped.

Rotary has also been instrumental in providing a palliative care nurse, car and other equipment to Abundant Life.