The National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), part of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) network of specialist hospitals, has announced the re-accreditation of its supportive and palliative care programme by the Joint Commission International (JCI).
Palliative care is the care provided for people who have a life-limiting illness and for whom the primary goal is quality of life.
Prof Alexander Knuth, chief executive officer and medical director at NCCCR, said, “We are proud of this achievement and honoured to be re-accredited by an internationally recognised organisation such as JCI. This highlights HMC’s approach to developing excellence in healthcare in Qatar and recognises the outstanding quality of care we provide to our patients. Our vision is to deliver an internationally recognised supportive and palliative care programme and to become a regional leader in palliative care clinical services.”
“This is the only palliative care programme accredited as a clinical care programme by JCI in the Middle East and Gulf region. This achievement reflects HMC’s commitment to providing the best quality services to our patients by offering world-class cancer therapies and support. Our supportive and palliative care programme meets the highest quality standards and our teams are committed to the provision of exemplary care,” Prof Knuth added.
Dr Azza Ibrahim Hassan, senior consultant, oncology at NCCCR and director of the supportive and palliative care programme, said coping with advanced illness is stressful for patients and their families.
“The patient is at the heart of everything we do here at HMC and our programme is focused on the patient. It is tailored to meet patient needs, using proven tools and techniques to better integrate, co-ordinate, and communicate patient care. The programme prioritises patients with late-stage disease, identifying those who may need immediate assistance and accepting referrals for symptom control and psychological support for both patients and their families. The programme also provides advice on the direction of care and assistance in communicating difficult medical information,” said Dr Hassan.
“This accreditation is a major achievement not only for our division but for the hospital as a whole. Our success is the result of great teamwork and the significant contributions of every member of the supportive and palliative care team,” Dr Hassan added.
The palliative and supportive care programme was initially accredited in 2012, followed by a second re-accreditation in 2015. The JCI accreditation recognises hospital programmes that demonstrate exceptional care to optimise the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. It acknowledges compliance with the highest standards.
In 2016, the supportive and palliative care team developed a fellowship programme focused on palliative care for patients and families at diagnosis, during active treatment, and at end-of-life. The first fellow joined the programme in 2017.