Palliative Outreach Response Team (PORT)
PORT is a service to help people with life-limiting conditions and their caregivers access palliative care in Victoria, BC. PORT is for people who:
Have a life-limiting condition (e.g, cancer, organ failure, COPD);
May have difficulty accessing palliative supports and services as a result of poverty, homelessness, lack of social support, racialization, stigma and discrimination; and
Are living in the Victoria area
PORT is a collaboration of the University of Victoria, Island Health, Victoria Cool Aid Society and Victoria Hospice Society that acts as a bridge between people with serious illness and their caregivers, palliative care, and other health and social support systems.
People can have difficulty getting care and support at the end of life for a variety of reasons including a lack of resources, barriers to getting care at home (or no home to get care), lack of family support or family that is unrecognized, or a lack of culturally safe care. Many people die without planning, care, and support, which is devastating for the person to experience, and their family and our entire community to witness.
What is a life-limiting condition?
A life-limiting condition is a condition or series of conditions that, either alone or in combination, will lead to a person’s eventual death.
What can PORT offer?
PORT consists of a part time nurse and physician who work from the Cool Aid Community Health Centre but are mobile to meet people where they’re at in the community. PORT works with people and their caregivers to:
Create advance care plans and capacity for people to make informed choices about their health;
Facilitate end of life care that best meets a person’s needs and wishes;
Identify barriers and build bridges between the person and palliative care supports and services; and/or
Provide resources, direct care, and bereavement support to the person’s circle of care.
What is a palliative approach to care?
Whole-person care for the person, their family & community
Driven by the priorities of a person
Attends to physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs
Focus on living well up until the point of death & after-death support
Quality of life, dignity, hope, comfort, and relief of suffering
Aims to identify people early (not just at the end of life) for the best possible outcomes
How do I refer to PORT?
Anyone can refer to PORT. To access the referral form, please pick up at the Cool Aid Community Health Centre (713 Johnson Street). If you have any questions about referrals, please contact the PORT nurse at (250)-580-3759 or PORT@viha.ca.
What should I expect when I refer to PORT?
The PORT nurse will aim to get back to you within a weeks time. If you have put in a referral and not heard within a week, please call us!