Encourage the heart and dream for the future: celebrating 20 years of palliative care at HOSPICE Casa Sperantei

Daniela Mosoiu MD Phd, National Director for Education, Strategy and Development, HOSPICE Casa Sperantei Foundation, Romania, continues this week’s series of posts to mark the 20th anniversary of palliative care in Romania

Dr Daniela Mosoiu

Dr Daniela Mosoiu

Friday, 29 June 2012 was a day of celebration in Brasov to mark 20 years of work by HOSPICE Casa Sperantei’s dedicated team.

My involvement with the hospice began in November 1995, a year that was to change my professional life in an unexpected way. Who was to guess that the small HOSPICE Casa Sperantei home care team that I had joined, located in a friendly house in the centre of Brasov, was to become the catalyst of a movement to resonate, not just in Romania, but also abroad?

The transition from caring for patients in the National Oncology Institute in Bucharest, where I had finished my training as a medical oncologist, to seeing patients in their homes was huge. The same types of patients with cancer in advanced stages but such a different environment: no advanced technology and tests available around every corner, but instead an identity for patients and personalised care.

Since then, alleviating suffering for patients, support of families and building commitment and capacity for palliative care locally, in Romania and even in neighbouring countries, have been the ‘red thread’ in the work of HOSPICE Casa Sperantei.

A day of celebration in Brasov

A day of celebration in Brasov: some of the staff, volunteers and guests at the 20th anniversary event

What we have today is a team of 149 members working in Brasov and Bucharest and in two rural communities caring for more than 1,700 patients annually (adults and children), offering education at national and international level (1,286 participants in our training programmes in 2011), and consultancy to other providers and government. It is a place where patients, families, trainees and visitors experience what we mean by quality, holistic care and teamwork.

Future plans
In the coming year, 2012-2013, we plan to:

  • Increase capacity to deliver care in Bucharest by starting the building of a new inpatient hospice and enlarge partnerships with medical and social institutions.
  • Increase the capability of GPs and community teams to provide basic palliative care by training them through our online programme.
  • Include palliative care in the undergraduate curricula of five universities; we hope that the first 24 students will graduate from the masters programme in palliative care developed jointly by HOSPICE Casa Sperantei and the Medical Faculty in Brasov.
  • Launch education and training for patients and their carers through the new regional information centre in Brasov.
  • Move towards implementing a national strategy in a bottom-up approach as this does not seem to fail, even in times of political instability.
  • Build commitment among several stakeholders.

And, of course, we plan to keep our services running in this difficult time of economic crisis.

COMING UP… Please follow the blog and learn more about the education and development programme of HOSPICE Casa Sperantei.

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