St Vincent's improves palliative care experience

St Vincent's improves palliative care experience

10 Jun 2021

Patients, families and carers will soon benefit from refurbishments to palliative care facilities at Sacred Heart Health Service at St Vincent’s Hospital, thanks to a $137,500 boost from the NSW Government.

A/Professor Anthony Schembri AM said the refurbishments at Sacred Heart Health Service will help bring comfort to people at the end of life, along with their families and carers.

This funding will enable the Hospital to establish a new private family room to allow patients and carers to spend time together away from the patient's clinical bed space, creating a more homely environment for those in need. This will also provide a space for members of the Hospital’s multidisciplinary team, such as social workers and providers of pastoral care, to have private discussions with patients, families and carers.

“These projects help to bring dignity and comfort to patients, families and carers,” A/Professor Schembri said. “Ensuring that patients, their families and carers receive quality palliative care in a safe, comfortable and home-like environment is a priority for St Vincent’s”.

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.

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.