Northern beaches patients nearing the final stages of life will be supported and cared for closer to home with a new, purpose-built palliative care unit at Mona Vale Hospital.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes and Member for Manly James Griffin toured the unit today, which will open next week and is funded under the NSW Government's $619 million upgrade of Northern Beaches health facilities.
"Palliative care patients will receive the very best, highly specialised care focused on both their physical and emotional needs while remaining close to family and friends," Mr Hazzard said.
"The NSW Government is committed to providing best practice multi-disciplinary palliative care services that give patients and their families real choice and support during what is undoubtedly one of the most difficult times."
Since 2017, the NSW Government has invested an extra $145 million to palliative care and reducing avoidable hospital admissions, on top of an annual investment of $220 million. The 2020-21 NSW Budget also includes a $56 million additional funding boost for palliative care services.
Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes said the new inpatient building has two wings – a dedicated 10-bed palliative care unit and a 10-bed Geriatric Evaluation and Management unit – which will further enhance the diversity of medical services available at Mona Vale Hospital.
"This is another important addition to Mona Vale Hospital and will see a specialised palliative care unit available for the first time on the Northern Beaches," Mr Stokes said.
"These new services will join the urgent care, community health, diagnostic, rehabilitation and other speciality services provided at Mona Vale Hospital and further boost the number of medical staff on site."
Member for Manly James Griffin said it would provide respite for patients and their carers.
"Everything from the fittings to the artwork has been selected in consultation with groups like Friends of Northern Beaches Palliative Care and Northern Beaches In-patient Palliative Care Working Group, so the unit can meet all the needs of those admitted," Mr Griffin said.
The Geriatric Evaluation and Management unit will provide early assessment and treatment for people experiencing health conditions associated with aging, such as a tendency to fall, reduced mobility and cognitive impairment.
About 50 staff will work at the facility across the disciplines of medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, clinical psychology, neuro-psychology, podiatry, speech pathology, dietetics, pharmacy, administration and environmental services.