GUEST SPEAKER 27th Sept. Denise van Aalst- Clinical Manager Hospice Southland
"Living Every Moment; Grateful-Collaborative-Passionate-Encouraging-Respectful" This is the Hospice mantra.
Denise always wanted to be a nurse-at 7 years old she wanted to "make sick people feel better".
She received the first-ever post graduate diploma in Palliative Care and, like all Hospice staff is passionate about what she does.
Hospice is a philosophy of care, not the building. Hospice Southland covers Southland up to the Wakatipu. 
120-130 patients are under their care at any one time, but 95% of them are cared for in their own homes. 75% of people in the Hospice Inpatient Unit leave once their symptoms or medication changes are under control. The basic tenets of palliative care are holistic. The patient and family are at the centre of care. Hospice has Community Nurses, nursing support by phone, a palliative care specialist, family support services, access to the Hospice inpatient unit,  respite care, grief support and training for carers. It is often thought that Hospice is just for cancer patients, but that is not so.
Community support needs to cover half the total cost. We are fortunate to have a palliative care specialist nurse based in Queenstown to support the Wakatipu.