Shannon’s Bridge gets 2.5m in VIC State Government funding
On 11th April 2018, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy announced that Shannon's Bridge was among six services to share in $5.5 million from the Labor Government’s End-of-life Ancillary Service Grant program.
As a charity that connects patients and families with palliative care services we ‘bridge' the gap if no formal services exist to support end of life care in the preferred place of care. We do this by training volunteers to provide practical help, arranging equipment to enable them to remain home, improving death literacy in the community and assisting with advance care planning.
Shannon’s Bridge was formed in response to this identified need and gap in care at end of life. Along with Dr Claire Hepper and Dr Allison O’Neill, Jeremy and Belinda established the organisation to help people access palliative care that is not determined by postcode, finances or cultural background.
In our first 18 months of operation the delivery of this vision has only been slowed by workforce restrictions with the four directors balancing full time work and their volunteer roles. To date the operational needs have been met by donations from community groups and generous in kind donations from community members.
The grant is needed to expand the geographical areas we can assist and ensure that locally generated resources go directly back into local communities to enable sustainability. We will always need local donors and of course our volunteers.
Shannon’s Bridge has a five year strategic plan for the infrastructure, systems and human resources which will enable state-wide assistance and mentoring of other ancillary organisations undertaking end of life work.
With improved death literacy and promotion of advance care planning, Shannon’s Bridge aims to change the landscape of how death and dying issues are managed in our communities.
Outcome auditing identifies that the most common reason for unplanned hospital admissions is due to simple after-hours logistic problems rather than major clinical issues. Many of the services that patients need already exist but even a small physical or temporal gap can render these services ineffective.
We strive to bridge these gaps with either on the ground assistance or connecting patients and their families with options to do so.