‘Moving forward’: modelling work on palliative care unit underway

ACTION STATIONS: Push for Palliative Care workers Jenny Hazelton, John McDonogh and Tracy Wilkinson. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0411jkpalliative3

ACTION STATIONS: Push for Palliative Care workers Jenny Hazelton, John McDonogh and Tracy Wilkinson. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0411jkpalliative3

A LOCAL taskforce spearheaded by member for Orange Phil Donato is investigating the development of a palliative care unit for Orange.

A number of models of the proposed unit will be presented to the August meeting of the local taskforce, which includes members of the Push for Palliative group and NSW health officials.

Orange Push for Palliative Care vice president Jenny Hazelton was hopeful that meeting would conclude with an approved model, which the taskforce could then seek funding to get off the ground.

“We can’t go forward until we’ve got the hard information about how palliative care will be funded,” she said.

Mrs Hazelton said the modelling was a positive step that helped the local group to be able to be cost its major requirements and then present them to the state government.

On Thursday Health Minister Brad Hazzard released a report of a roundtable meeting with the Orange community on May 1 about providing better palliative care in the community.

It was one of 10 community discussions held in Sydney and regional NSW.

The government has committed $100 million over the next four years for palliative care services tailored to local needs.

Mr Hazzard said the roundtables were the start of the government seeking input about how that money should be spent.

“As a result of these roundtables we now have a deeper understanding of what is working well, what needs improvement and potential solutions,” he said.

“I encourage members of the public to have a good look at the roundtable reports.

“We will soon be releasing a discussion paper, seeking further feedback.”

Mrs Hazelton said the Orange group was seeking a range of services.

That included a palliative care unit in the community, a set area for palliative care at Orange hospital and more palliative care doctors and nurses.

“There’s so much going on at the moment.

“Things are moving forward. We are getting encouraged by the direction things are taking,” she said.

Member for Orange Phil Donato tabled a 10,000-signature petition from Orange people calling for better palliative care to state parliament last month.

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