Central Coast residents now have more palliative care choices, with a new, 10-bed Palliative Care Unit opening at Gosford Hospital today.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said people requiring a high level of care that could not be met at home would benefit from a caring team and homely comforts in the new unit.
“We know the majority of people prefer to be cared for at home, but this new unit staffed with a 20-strong team, will provide the support they need in a homely environment with rooms for family and carers to stay in,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The unit is located within the Gosford Hospital campus so patients have access to specialist medical, nursing and allied health services.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the unit’s establishment was a credit to the Elsie’s Retreat group.
“The dream of a Palliative Care Unit has become a reality thanks to the years of campaigning and fundraising by the ‘orange army’ of Elsie’s Retreat volunteers as well as support from local businesses, the Local Health District and the NSW Government,” Mr Crouch said.
“I couldn’t be prouder to say that for the first time ever, Central Coast residents now have a choice between receiving palliative care at home or in a hospital setting.”
The new Palliative Care Unit has the capacity to expand to 14 beds and includes:
- sofa beds in patient rooms for family members/carers to stay;
- two large family rooms;
- lounge area with kitchenette facilities and comfortable lounges;
- children’s area with toys; and
- a spacious outdoor deck area with an automatic all weather cover.
The NSW Government has committed $3 million in recurrent funding for 20 additional full-time equivalent staff to work in the unit, as part of the growing palliative care workforce in NSW. The unit is located in the hospital’s previous maternity ward which has undergone a $400,000 transformation.
The 2020-21 Budget included a further $56 million over four years to enhance palliative care across NSW including additional End of Life Support Packages, 35 specialist allied health professionals, education and training and improved bereavement and psychosocial support.