Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Local palliative care services will be more than doubled with a stand-alone, expanded and purpose-built palliative care unit to be built at Tamworth Hospital as part of a $743 million package from the NSW Government to improve end of life care.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the announcement is a big win for the community that will deliver positive outcomes for patients, their families and carers.

“Last September, I joined Friends of Nioka in pushing for expanded palliative care services in Tamworth and the NSW Nationals in Government are delivering on that promise,” Mr Anderson said.

“As part of the NSW Government’s $743 million boost to enhance end-of-life care across the state, we will more than double the current bed capacity available for palliative care services in the Tamworth region.”

“Planning is already underway and over the coming months we will work with local clinicians and the community, including the Friends of Nioka, to ensure the community’s needs are front and centre. I will ensure that every person in our region has access to quality end-of-life care they deserve.”

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said this major expansion of palliative care services in the Tamworth region will mean patients and their families have the choice and comfort they deserve during some of their toughest days.

“As a former palliative care nurse, I know how important quality end-of-life care is to people living in our regions,” Mrs Taylor said.

“We know most people would prefer to be cared for at home, but unfortunately that isn’t always an option. With this investment we can ensure local, dedicated staff have the facilities they need to continue delivering compassionate care and support.”

Friends of Nioka, a volunteer support group for Tamworth’s Nioka palliative care unit, joined Minister Taylor and Minister Anderson at a formal announcement earlier this week. President Heather Frankel said the group welcomed the significant investment in palliative care services in Tamworth. 

“Undoubtedly the Minister for Regional Health’s experience in palliative care, combined with the Member for Tamworth’s personal commitment to the Nioka Ward has led to this exciting announcement,” Mrs Frankel said. 

“Friends of Nioka look forward to working with the NSW Government, Hunter New England Local Health District and local clinicians to ensure the needs of the community are front of mind in the delivery of this upgraded and expanded unit.” 

The plan for the expanded palliative care unit at Tamworth Hospital will be finalised in June 2023, with further details to be confirmed after consultation with health professionals and community members.

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