Communities across NSW will soon benefit from enhanced palliative care services thanks to the NSW Government’s $743 million 2022-27 Enhancing End of Life Care package.
$650 million will be spent on a range of services as well as employing an extra 600 nurses, allied health professionals, doctors, and support staff across the state.
Since 2011, the NSW Government has announced commitments worth more than $1 billion in palliative care initiatives. The government is committed to providing people with a life-limiting illness greater choice about the care they receive, whether it is in hospital, the community or at home.
The funding boost is on top of more than $300 million the NSW Nationals invest each year in palliative care.
Previous workforce enhancements for palliative care have seen the recruitment of specialist nurses, Aboriginal health workers, allied health professionals, bereavement counsellors and more specialist palliative care doctors in rural areas.
Nationals Minister for Regional Health and former palliative care nurse Bronnie Taylor said the boost in funding to regional, rural and remote LHDs will ensure people at the end of their life can receive the care they need closer to home.
“We are working with health professionals and community members across rural and regional NSW to develop tailored plans for palliative care services in each region to ensure the needs and wants of local residents are front and centre,” Mrs Taylor said.
“I know how important quality end-of-life care is to people living in our regions and this package will ensure that patients, their families and their carers have a choice.”
Local Health Districts are finalising their five-year plans for hospital and community-based services to meet the needs of their local community into the future.
The $650 million funding over five years will be used to:
• employ an extra 600 nurses, allied health professionals, doctors, and support staff across the state
• boost hospital capacity and implement best-practice models for supportive and palliative care
• improve access to pain management services for patients with life-limiting illness, to help patients and their family and carers
• improve services for people with late stage chronic and degenerative conditions, and cancer
• further strengthen outpatient and community health services
• support consumer choice and excellence in end-of-life and palliative care
• strengthen virtual care, transport and equipment programs
improve partnerships with non-Government organisations, primary care and aged care services.
The $743 million Enhancing End of Life Care package also includes $93 million for capital investment, to redevelop and refurbish NSW Health facilities, including palliative care units at Wyong Hospital, Tamworth Hospital, Westmead Hospital and Nepean Hospital.
The NSW Government’s funding package will also provide additional investment to boost pain management services, support research activities, improve access to equipment needed to care for people in the home, and to support Non-Government organisations to improve community awareness and knowledge about palliative care.