There are seven doctors in the medical team at Te Omanga Hospice. They are part of the larger hospice Multidisciplinary Team that guides patient care. There is a hospice doctor available on call 24/7 to give phone advice to both the hospice nurses and to doctors in the community, the Hutt Hospital and the Wairarapa. The hospice doctors will also visit patients across all the sites where Te Omanga delivers care, as well as review patients under the care of the hospice at the hospice Outpatient Clinic.
The medical services and family support staff are led by a wonderful team of experienced, highly educated, and in many cases, long serving clinicians and professionals. We introduce them to you here.
Family Support Manager & Counsellor
BSW, MNZAC, MANZASW, SWRB Registered
I have worked at Te Omanga Hospice as a counsellor for 12 years and the Family Support Team Manager for 7 years. I am both a registered social worker and an accredited counsellor. I draw on 33 years of experience working in Non-Government, Government, Health organisations and Private Practice. I have worked in Palliative Care for the past 14 years.
I lead a team of experienced Family Support staff who provide Social Work, Counselling, Music therapy, Art therapy, Maori Liaison, Spiritual Care and Occupational Therapy support to patients and those significant to them, adults and children. The Family Support Team focus on the psychosocial, spiritual and cultural care of patients and families, collaborating with medical, nursing teams and volunteers to support patients and those significant to them through a holistic care approach.
I’m passionate about people receiving support for grief and loss, adjustment to challenges and change, empowering information to support choices that reflect who they and their whānau are, and what matters to them as they live with a life limiting condition and at end of life.
Dr Ian Gwynne-Robson
MD CCFP FCFP FAChPM
I have been the Medical Director at Te Omanga Hospice since November 2011. I joined the medical team as a Palliative Medicine Specialist in March 2008. I completed my medical degree at the University of Toronto.
I completed my post-graduate training in Family Medicine in Canada where I practiced in Family Medicine and Palliative Care for 10 years before moving to NZ in 2003. I trained as a Palliative Medicine Specialist in New Zealand.
Nurse Practitioner Palliative Care – Primary
NP, RN, BN, PG Cert Palliative Care, MN (Clinical)
I spent 24 years working as a nurse in the United Kingdom and the last 8 years nursing in New Zealand. I am an experienced clinician and recently became a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner.
I am committed to improving access to Palliative Care in the community setting to those who need it – regardless of diagnosis. I want to see improved health outcomes through the delivery of high quality and efficient care across a range of providers. I want to support and empower primary healthcare providers while maintaining the ethic of care. If we optimise primary and specialist services, it will enable a full and complementary provision of services that will maximise benefits for patients.
Inpatient Unit Coordinator
RN, BN, PG Cert Palliative Care
I have had the privilege of working at Te Omanga Hospice in the Inpatient Unit as a Registered Nurse (RN) for almost five years. I came to nursing later in life and have followed my passions working in Aged Care and latterly, Palliative Care.
I believe knowledge improves confidence and reduces anxiety around the dying process. Being passionate about education ensures patients and their families have some of the issues around death demystified leaving them with a positive experience at a difficult time.
I lead a team of highly qualified RNs, who work hard to bring patients and families a sense of peace and tranquility in what can be the most trying of times. To be able to make a positive contribution to the life of a special person is what drives our Inpatient Unit Team.
Director of Nursing and Clinical Support Services
DipHE, BSC (Hons), MA (Appl) Nursing, GDip Strategic Management
I am a registered nurse with over 15 years’ experience in medical, oncology and haematology, supported by a strong academic background. Prior to this role, I worked as the Inpatient Unit Manager at Te Omanga Hospice for 5 years.
The Te Omanga philosophy of care is important to me. My goal is to ensure that our values are translated into expert care through the skills of the nursing, medical, and family support teams.
I believe that clinical leadership should be demonstrated through role modelling, encouraging quality improvement, and maintaining high standards. We want our patients to feel safe and secure in our care and when they stay with us.
Clinical Nurse Educator
Masters of Palliative Care
I have worked in Palliative Care for over 20 years. I gained my Masters of Palliative Care through Flinders University in Australia. For the past 12 years I have worked at Te Omanga Hospice as Clinical Nurse Educator. My role is primarily around promoting increased knowledge and innovation within palliative care to the clinical team at Te Omanga.
With the help of my team I design and coordinate the delivery of the hospice education programme. This is available throughout the year to both health professionals and others interested in increasing their knowledge of palliative care.
I have also done voluntary work in India assisting and implementing nursing programmes and supporting new initiatives in palliative care.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Palliative Care in Aged Care
I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist leading the Aged Care Team. I have a background in both aged care and hospice nursing. My passion is to work alongside nurses and care teams who are providing care for older people, so that they are empowered to deliver good palliative care in Residential Aged Care Facilities. I believe that mutual learning and appreciating the role of others is central to working in residential care. Informal coaching and mentoring, as well as formal teaching are all part of my approach.
My vision is that all older people, wherever they are, have equal access to care that enables quality of life and a peaceful and dignified death. I have a special interest in working with people with dementia who live in residential care, and also in supporting patients and families during their transition into residential care.