The McGowan Government has today announced Western Australia’s first children’s hospice to provide care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
The hospice will support children and their families throughout all stages of their journey – from early diagnosis, during the continuum of their condition, through to end of life with support for families in bereavement.
The hospice will be delivered in partnership with Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF) and the Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS), and will provide specialist respite and palliative care for children aged up to 18 years throughout WA.
About 2,000 children in WA live with a life-limiting illness. Children and young people, and their families, will benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to support them to live as well as possible.
CAHS will also extend the current Paediatric Palliative Care Service to provide specialist staff at the hospice in the following key service areas:
- care for children who have a life-limiting diagnosis who often require 24/7 care. The hospice will care for these children for a period of time allowing their families much needed respite;
- support for families – parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles – as this affects them all;
- end of life care for children with the safety net of clinical care in the comfort of a highly respectful and supported environment; and
- a State-wide bereavement service for families following the death of a child.
The construction, fit-out and ongoing non-operational costs will be funded by PCHF, with CAHS to provide the ongoing clinical, governance and overall management funding.
A preferred site in Swanbourne has been identified, with discussions in the initial stages.
This important development is also in line with Sustainable Health Review recommendation 9: ‘achieve respectful and appropriate end of life care and choices’.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“This dedicated paediatric hospice will enhance the provision of children’s respite and end of life services in WA, and I thank the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation and Ian Campbell for their advocacy and work in getting this project underway to give WA families more support and care.
“Once built, the hospice will enable children and young people with a life-limiting diagnosis to access the care that they need in one place, and as part of that, we will be able to better support families during what is an incredibly difficult time.”
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“The hospice will focus on providing the best quality of life through a holistic approach which supports the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the child and their family.
“We look forward to providing a home away from home for these families to feel safe and supported, and to provide choice in their decision making, so they can celebrate their precious child’s live – no matter how long or short it may be.”
As stated by Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation chairperson Hon. Ian Campbell:
“We are delighted to partner with the McGowan Government for this project. We believe the facility with all the care of a hospital and the feel of a home is long overdue, and will add a wonderful legacy to the healthcare landscape for children and their families.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be involved with this project which will make a difference to so many lives for years to come and are eager to get started.”