Kevin Humphries

BROKEN HILL TALKS GUIDE PALLIATIVE CARE POLICY

 16 May 2017

The future for palliative care services in Far West NSW will be discussed with the community and health professionals at a roundtable in Broken Hill today (Tuesday) to better tailor end-of-life care in regional areas.

Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries welcomes to Broken Hill the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, Leslie Williams, who will host the talks at the Thyme on Argent function centre in Broken Hill.

“We have committed $1.5 million to Far West Local Health District in 2016/17, for palliative care services across the District,” Mr Humphries said.

“The NSW Government recognises that delivering palliative care in the Far West has its own challenges, and the needs of individual patients and regions differ greatly.

“One of my top priorities is to provide better end-of life-care and more tailored, community-based palliative care services for our patients.

“This forum is an opportunity to ensure we are in step with the community on local needs. It will also give local medical and nursing specialists an opportunity to contribute to the NSW Government’s new strategy for palliative care,” Mr Humphries said.

Broken Hill is the fourth of eight roundtables that Mrs Williams will lead throughout regional NSW.

Mrs Williams, a former registered nurse who worked in palliative care, said we need to ensure people have more choice to die with dignity.

“At present, more than half of all deaths in Australia occur in hospitals, though many people indicate, at various stages of their lives that they would prefer to die at home,” Mrs Williams said.

The NSW Government has provided substantial palliative care support to the Far West Local Health District, including:

•    Specialist palliative care services in Broken Hill and Dareton, and outreach across all settings in the District.
•    Palliative care research grant, following a successful project funded by Decision Assist (Palliative Care Link-Nurse in Residential Aged Care).
•    98 per cent of patients dying in the place of their choice.
•    One Director of cancer and palliative care services 
•    One palliative care physician in Broken Hill.
•    Four specialist palliative care nurses in Broken Hill and two in Dareton.
•    Recruitment currently underway for a part-time Bereavement Coordinator and Community Palliative Care Volunteer Coordinator.

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