Community can have a say on future of palliative care services

Get involved: The community can have its say on the future direction of palliative care services.
Get involved: The community can have its say on the future direction of palliative care services.

The future of palliative care services on the Mid-North Coast will be developed following the release of a discussion paper from a successful roundtable held in Kempsey in May.

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams was at the forefront of the roundtables and says people should take the time to read the documentation.

“We encourage people to read the reports on the roundtable discussions and then provide feedback on a discussion paper, which will be made available next month,” she said.

“Priorities put forward include the need for flexible care, ensuring sufficient local staff are trained and available, and making palliative care services more integrated.”

The Kempsey event, one of 10 held around the state, provided medical, nursing and allied health specialists and community organisations with the opportunity to speak directly to the government about the priorities and solutions in their local community.

Each roundtable report reflects the discussion and ideas expressed by the participants at that event. 

Feedback from the broader community is now sought as part of the statewide consultation.

About 50,000 people die each year in NSW and this number is expected to more than double by 2056.

We now have a deeper understanding of what is working well, what needs improvement and potential local solutions.

Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams

With a growing ageing population and an increase in chronic illnesses, the need to provide quality palliative and end of life care will also increase.

High quality palliative care and end of life care is presently provided by a range of health practitioners, both specialist and generalist, working together to ensure the broadest possible access to care.

Mrs Williams said the roundtables have revealed what your community thinks should be done to improve palliative care services in your area.

“The NSW government committed a record $100 million over the next four years in the 2017-18 budget to enhance palliative care and up-skill regional and rural health staff. We will use the feedback from the roundtables and upcoming discussion paper to further improve palliative care services.

“We now have a deeper understanding of what is working well, what needs improvement and potential local solutions,” Mrs Williams said.

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.

The regional roundtables, hosted by Mrs Williams and local MPs, were held in Lismore, Orange, Kempsey, Broken Hill, Tamworth, Newcastle, Griffith, Queanbeyan and Kiama, following a metro roundtable at NSW Parliament House in May.

You can view the reports by going here.