Anyone who works in the sector or has had family and friends who have had to rely on palliative care understand the amazing work that specialist palliative care nurses do and the essential role they play in the health system.

Palliative Care Week was launched by Nationals MLC and former nurse, Hon Bronnie Taylor at the Art Gallery of NSW where she spoke about her excitement regarding recently announced funding and her entrenched connection to the sector.

“I spent eight years as a clinical nurse specialist in palliative care working out of the Monaro region,” Bronnie said.

“I share your issues, I share your angst and I’d like to champion more for you in parliament.”

Late last year, follows the announcement by Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, Leslie Williams – who is also a former nurse –  that all Local Health Districts and Specialty Health Networks in NSW will receive a share of $900,000 with an additional share of $300,000 set for distribution amongst seven of the health districts all with the aim of training and be developing nurses to enhance palliative care services with NSW. This funding is courtesy of the NSW Government’s record $100 million investment in palliative care which coincides with the existing $210 million spent annually each year.

In addition to this, a $1.2 million increase in palliative care funding will be spent on improving the training of palliative nurses.

“The NSW Government is committed to breaking down barriers and filling gaps in palliative care in regional and rural areas so people get care at the right time, in the right ways,” Leslie said.

“These placements will give nurses and allied health professionals the skills and confidence they need to provide better palliative care to those who need it, no matter where they live.”

Palliative care is an essential service and one that resonates well beyond the patient. With both Bronnie and Leslie’s previous experience in the palliative care sector, it is easy to see why they have both become champions for the programs they support and work so tirelessly for.