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Workshop: Building ComCom approach: a practical guide (Misty's Room)

All authors: Dr Claire Hepper, Director of Shannon's Bridge
Mr Jeremy McKnight, General Manager of Shannon's Bridge

Presenting Author: Dr Claire Hepper

Shannon’s Bridge is a volunteer driven charity that connects patients and communities with supports and services for end of life care needs. Born in response to a physical and temporal gap in service provision, the charity is named for Shannon McKnight who wanted to be at home when she died. The formal and informal care providers stepped in to ‘bridge’ care gaps to ensure her wish was honoured. Shannon wanted support to be provided to everyone - no matter their postcode. The Bridge team continues the push back against the barrier of service ‘boundaries’ for provision of palliative care.

Our aims include improved death literacy, advance care plan assistance and upskilling communities to provide help in service gaps. Shannon’s Bridge uses the Compassionate Community model to build partnerships and fostering an inclusive space with the ‘End of Life Care Hub’ in Creswick, Victoria. The Hub has a ‘drop in’ ethos to support people who are dying, grieving or caring. By undertaking administration assistance to a wide range of supportive therapies, maintaining a resource library and online social media presence, the Hub keeps the community connected and allows for a continued relationship for bereaved community members when the formal services are discontinued.

From inception of the Bridge model in 2017, local preferred and actual place of death has been matched in over 90% of deaths annually (n=80 2017, n=90 2018). We have trained 152 volunteers, assisted with 94 ACPs, loaned equipment in 50 episodes of care and enabled home-based care to continue for 70 patients.

Shannon’s Bridge would like to share our scalable and inclusive model including resources, a step-by-step set up guide and tips on building connections and partnerships. Join us to go beyond the theory and dive deeply into the practical application of a compassionate model for your community.