Innovation for future care: Barbara Hayes

End of life care has been described as an ‘undefined period of time, starting with the recognition that a person has an advanced progressive incurable illness that ends in death’.

Dr Barbara Hayes, Clinical Lead in Advance Care Planning, Northern Health, and winner of the ‘Innovation’ award at the second Northern Health Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards, would like to see greater focus on care during end of life.

“Patients should be able to trust the quality of care they receive at the end of life, as much as they trust the care they receive during their life,” she says.

Barbara has led, and continues to lead, significant improvements in clinical practice associated with end of life care, palliative care and Advance Care Planning. Her aim is to inspire and encourage clinicians to deliver great care for patients nearing the end of their life.

Innovations that she has been involved in at Northern Health are now in use across Victoria and interstate. These include an ethical CPR decision-making framework; Hospital and Residential Aged Care Goals of Care forms; and Northern Health’s Advance Care Planning in 3-steps approach.

Her efforts are supported by research that indicates how real benefits for individuals and communities can result from strengthening society’s awareness and understanding of death, dying, grief, palliative and end of life care. Advance Care Planning is one way to help people become more aware of their mortality and the inherent uncertainty of future health.

Maria Tucker, Divisional Director, Nursing, Cancer Services, who nominated Barbara for the award says, “her tenacity to seek new ways of promoting her areas of passion in end of life care are extraordinary. Reputationally, she proudly represents Northern Health at state and national levels, sharing the best ideas she discovers elsewhere to share with our staff, so that Northern Health patients benefit from her practical and innovative ways of upskilling our workforce in the delivery of great end of life care.”

Sponsored by Maxxia and BankVic, our Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards have been designed to formally recognise outstanding contributions by our employees and celebrate staff excellence.