Local palliative care services will be more than doubled with the NSW Nationals in the state government announcing they will deliver a stand-alone, expanded, and purpose-built palliative care unit at Tamworth Hospital.
Nationals 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 today, 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.”
Nationals 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, and I’m so pleased to be here today with the Member for Tamworth to announce this major expansion of local palliative care services,” 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 Inc joined Minister Taylor and Minister Anderson at today’s announcement with President Heather Frankel saying 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.
The upgraded and expanded palliative care unit at Tamworth Hospital is being delivered as part of the NSW Government’s $93 million End of Life Care program. The funding is part of a $743 million program which will be allocated towards redeveloping and refurbishing palliative care units across the State, including new dedicated units at Nepean Hospital, Westmead Hospital and Wyong Hospital.
Further detail about the redevelopment of Tamworth Hospital’s palliative care unit will be confirmed following further planning and consultation with health professionals and community members.
The project is part of the NSW Government’s record $11.9 billion investment in health infrastructure over the next four years to 2025-26, with nearly a third of the capital allocation in this financial year going towards regional and rural health facilities.
Since 2011, the government has delivered more than 180 health capital projects across NSW, with more than 130 projects currently underway – of those, more than 90 are in rural and regional areas.