Thousands of families with loved ones with a life-limiting illness will receive more choice about the help they need from an additional 100 palliative care nurses at refurbished facilities under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the $45 million palliative care investment was made possible by the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure patients and their loved ones have access to the best quality palliative care at the best possible care facilities,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to ensuring people who are suffering a life-limiting illness, and their families, have the choices, support and care they need.”
The investment is on top of a $100 million package for palliative care that was announced as part the 2017-18 Budget, which is already delivering more palliative care nurses and community-based palliative care services.
The additional 100 palliative care nurses will work in hospitals, palliative care facilities, and in communities and homes to ensure patients can access the care they need, in the setting they choose. Ms Berejiklian made the commitment at Mt Druitt Hospital, part of the Western Sydney Local Health District that will receive eight new palliative care nurses.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said 64 of the 100 palliative care nurses would be assigned to regional and rural NSW.
Mr Barilaro made the commitment at Coffs Harbour Hospital, part of the Mid North Coast Local Health District that will receive five new palliative care nurses.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure patients and their loved ones have access to the best quality palliative care in the best possible facilities no matter where they live,” Mr Barilaro said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the commitment also includes $10 million for improvements to existing palliative care facilities across the State. “The emotional and financial challenges for patients and their carers are considerable so we will continue to do all we can to help people through this challenging time,” Mr Hazzard said.
The $45 million boost to palliative care funding will:
· Add 100 more nurses to the palliative care workforce, with 64 expected for regional and rural NSW;
· Increase the number of full-time equivalent palliative care Aboriginal health workers from nine to 18, so that every district and network in NSW has a full-time position;
· Increase use of digital health solutions to improve end of life care to people living in rural and remote areas throughout NSW;
· Connect young people in regional areas through digital health solutions to the new Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice in Manly, and funding a senior clinical role to support its staff; and
· Support the refurbishment of existing palliative care facilities across NSW, providing a home away from home for patients.