Far West Local Health District Improves Palliative Care Experience
Patients, families and carers will soon benefit from refurbishments to palliative care facilities at Balranald and Wilcannia Multipurpose Service (MPS) thanks to a $220,000 boost from the NSW Government.
Mr Umit Agis, Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) Chief Executive, said the refurbishments at Balranald and Wilcannia MPS will help bring comfort to people at the end of life, along with their families and carers.
Ms Melissa Cumming, FWLHD Program Director Cancer and Palliative Care Services, said that the funding for Balranald MPS will involve renovating and refurbishing the existing palliative care room and family suite. Funding for Wilcannia will involve refurbishing a room in the MPS and developing an outdoor space for patients receiving palliative care and their families.
'These projects help create more home-like environments, bringing dignity and comfort to patients, families and carers,' Ms Cumming said. 'The refurbishments will provide improved patient and family privacy, a space for family members to remain with the patient overnight if needed, and access to pleasant outdoor spaces.'
'Ensuring that patients, their families and carers receive quality palliative care in a safe, comfortable and home-like environment is a priority for NSW Health,' Mr Agis said. These facilities are among 34 palliative care facilities to be refurbished over the next two years, at a total of $5.5 million across NSW.
Every year, the NSW Government spends more than $220 million on palliative care services across the State. In addition to this funding, in 2020-21 a further $16 million of enhancement funding was spent to improve services, including a boost of $7.17 million for 35 allied health workers and 20 palliative care nurses across NSW.
The latest round of funding follows the success of $4.5 million allocated for refurbishments in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Both funding rounds were a part of a $45 million enhancement for palliative care announced in the 2019-20 NSW Budget.
'The Broken Hill Hospital benefitted from this funding in 2021 with refurbishments about to be completed to make a section of the Medical Ward a more home-like environment for palliative care patients and families,' Ms Cumming said.
This enhancement and a further $56 million announced in late 2020 support an additional 5,000 End of Life home support packages available across NSW from 1 July 2021; the recruitment of 100 new palliative care nurses; more Aboriginal Health Workers; digital health to improve access to palliative care; enhanced bereavement services and education to ensure a strong, competent workforce. This is in addition to the $100 million palliative care package announced in the 2017-18 Budget.