Palliative Care Hospice

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Initiative Title: Palliative Care Hospice
Category: Residential Services Initiatives

Future of Manly Hospital Site – Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice for Palliative Care

Manly is fortunate in having the only children’s palliative care facility in NSW (Bear Cottage), where terminally ill children can stay until they turn 18.  The only real option currently available to terminally ill adults over 18 is to either seek Palliative Care specialists in a hospital or enter Aged Care.  Our NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has allocated $2million annually to Palliative Care in the Northern Beaches area and has indicated her support for an adult Palliative Care facility within the Manly Hospital site after its closure and/or at the Mona Vale Hospital site.

It was recently announced that a 10 bed Palliative Care building is to be built on the far-eastern side of the Mona Vale Hospital site with ocean views.  Thanks to the hand work of community member Kay Miller (former Pittwater councillor) this new unit will be a place where adult patients of all ages and their families can feel at home, allowing people in the latter stages of their life to remain on the Northern Beaches.  A comfortable and welcoming environment for patients and their families during these most difficult and challenging of times. This will complement the current Palliative Care services available at Bear Cottage for children and their families in Manly.      

The Cancer Council of Australia’s (CanAct for Palliative Care) is seeking additional funding from NSW Health for increased Palliative Care resources for distributed across NSW (namely 10 additional Palliative Care specialist doctors and 129 extra Palliative Care nurses).   GPs and nurses are traditionally trained and experienced in keeping people alive and well.  When it comes to caring for our terminally ill, specialist Palliative Care doctors and nurses are required to care for people who have a serious illness that cannot be cured and who  have complex pain and/or other physical, psychosocial and spiritual problems.  Their goal is to give patients and their families the quality time they need together and to manage their patient’s pain in a manner that will enable all to make the most of the life they have left together. Following an emotional evening at the Norther Beaches campaign for increased Palliative Care with Brad Hazzard, it would appear this event produced the desired results.  Read the links below to see the resultant outcome.  

In 2014 a Grattin Institute study found that 70% of adults in need of Palliative Care would prefer to have their hospice at home rather than at a hospital.  The study also found that the reality was that 70% of our elderly obtained their Palliative Care at Hospital, simply because it was the only location where Palliative Care specialists could be found.  There is a clear gap in our Manly Community for a facility where specialist adult Palliative Care is available.  To take unnecessary pressure off our Hospital system, the Manly Community seek to include specialist Palliative Care capabilities within the Manly Hospital site after its pending closure.   Our adults have nowhere else to go other away from their local community into Hospital or Aged Care.  An adult Palliative Care facility at the Manly Hospital site would not only be able to service our terminally ill on site but also deliver specialist Palliative Care into the homes within our broader Manly Community, if that is their preference.   

In line with the findings of the Grattin Institute study, the intent is that our terminally ill adults eventually be able to make their hospice at home.   By drawing upon the available Palliative Care specialists at the Manly Hospital site, this would take even more pressure off our Hospital system.    We would then have a place where those at the children’s Palliative Care facility could transfer to an equivalent adult Palliative Care nearby rather having to go to an away hospital or Aged Care facility.  During such an emotional time when families are supporting their terminally ill children, having such a facility available within our Manly Community would help lower the additional pressure placed upon relationships.

Effective Palliative Care clearly requires multidisciplinary teams including specialist Palliative Care doctors and nurses as well as GPs, Dietitians, Pharmacists, Social Workers, Psychologists, etc.   Having an adult Palliative Care capability within our local community would create a wealth of employment opportunities, enabling more of our younger people to live and work locally.  

The bigger problem is that there are simply not enough Palliative Care specialists to go round.  With the current government stand on euthanasia the fact that there are 110,000 deaths per years and with our ageing population of baby boomers, this isn’t helping.   75% of these deaths require some form of palliative care.   But only 40,000 receive any form of palliative care and a further 20,000 would benefit if more palliative care resources were available.   Most (70%) of those dying would prefer to die at home, yet only 14% do die at home.  75% die in hospital.  Clearly there is a great need for more multi-disciplinary teams specialising in palliative care.    

Below are some links to the recent Palliative Care successes the Cancer Council NSW has had in obtaining funding for increasing their Palliative Care footprint in Northern Beaches:-

Contact Name: Darryl Dobe
Contact Email Address:
Start Date: 20-Jun-2017
End Date: 21-Dec-2018
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  1. Darryl Dobe   

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