New Pharmacy Opens at Correctional Facility

The Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) was privileged to be invited to attend the opening of the new Pharmacy at Goodwood Correctional Facility in Cape Town, South Africa on the 28 May 2015.

Medication was previously dispensed by Pollsmoor Correctional Facility in Tokai but with the opening of the new pharmacy, the turnaround time for dispensing medication to offenders will be much quicker.

The opening ceremony was attended by HPCA staff, Augie Tvrz (Operations Co-ordinator) and Sheryl Wust  (Project Co-ordinator) who had the opportunity to view the pharmacy via a walk through.This was followed by a celebratory function at their Mess Hall that was beautifully decorated for the occasion. Dignitaries from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) regional and head office were present to congratulate the staff.There were representatives from several partner organisations, who provide valuable assistance to DCS.

HPCA has been aware of the needs of this unique population group and has been actively involved in advocating for offenders and inmates to have better access to palliative care on a broader scale since 2011. Much progress has been made since then and staff and offenders have been trained in palliative care at selected sites by partner hospices.

The DCS is drafting policies and procedures for palliative care in correctional services facilities. Palliative care guidelines within correctional centres have been compiled.

Training activities have included the introductory training of multidisciplinary team members in palliative care; training of professional nurses in palliative care in an eight month course, the five day Introduction Course and training of offenders in home based with a palliative care component. Palliative care beds are available in some the correctional services facilities and palliative care drugs are available in all DCS facilities. The DCS refer offenders who are released on medical parole to hospices in the area where they live, for continued care and bereavement support.