$50k upgrade for Mount Druitt palliative care

Mount Druitt palliative care patient Debbie Pearson with volunteer Anne Goncalves and RN Anne May.

Patients, families and carers will soon benefit from refurbishments to the Mount Druitt Hospital’s palliative care unit, thanks to a $50,000 boost from the NSW Government.

Western Sydney LHD Supportive and Palliative Care nursing unit manager, Trish Dalgleish, said the funds will go toward upgrading the unit’s courtyard, which is used by patients when sharing meals with families, friends and carers.

The planned upgrades include improvements to the water feature, BBQ area and seating.

“The courtyard is also a much-needed place of tranquility and comfort for those who might just need some time for reflection. Comfortable surroundings help people retain their dignity in an end-of-life phase,” Trish said.

“The upgrade will contribute greatly to people’s peace of mind by helping create a ‘home away from home’ environment for patients, their families and carers while they are with us.”

The water feature is a favourite place of quiet reflection for patients.

The Supportive and Palliative Care Unit at Mount Druitt Hospital opened in June 1998 and provides assessment and symptom control for patients requiring supportive or end-of-life care. The 16-bed unit cares for more than 400 patients a year who stay for an average of 10 days.    [HV(SL1] 

The Mount Druitt Hospital’s unit is one of 34 palliative care facilities across the state to be refurbished over the next two years, with planning underway for additional projects from 2021.

The NSW Government committed $10 million in 2019 for palliative care facility refurbishments, as part of a $45 million enhancement over four years for palliative care, announced in the 2019-20 NSW budget. 

Debbie is a longer-term patient of the ward while she awaits NDIS support.

Dr Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning, NSW Health, said the refurbishments to more than 34 palliative care facilities across the state will make a real difference to the experiences patients have in hospital at the end of life.

“Ensuring that our patients, their families and carers receive quality palliative care in a safe, comfortable and home-like environment is a priority for NSW Health,” Dr Lyons said.

This funding is part of the $10.1 billion the NSW Government is investing in health infrastructure over the next four years to upgrade and build 29 hospital and health facilities.

The NSW Government’s 2019-20 Budget commitment also includes recruitment of 100 new palliative care nurses, more Aboriginal Health Workers, and support for digital health to improve access to palliative care. This is in addition to the $100 million palliative care package announced in the 2017-18 Budget.