The Illawarra will receive two additional specialist palliative care nurses as part of a $100 million funding boost to be included in the upcoming state budget.
The region’s nurses and allied health staff will also be able to apply for 300 scholarships to enhance palliative care skills, and other training opportunities, under new budget measures announced this week.
Local pharmacists too may be able to gain additional knowledge and confidence in supporting palliative patients in the community, with the roll-out of a community pharmacy education program.
The 2017-18 state budget will also include funding for an additional six palliative care specialists for rural and regional areas, with the locations yet to be determined.
‘’This package includes training for 300 nurses and allied health staff, 300 scholarships for rural and regional staff to enhance palliative care skills and 30 additional nurses in hospitals, homes and nursing homes,’’ NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
‘’We have listened to communities at palliative care roundtables across the state and the message from Broken Hill to Sydney, from Griffith to Lismore is that we need to expand our palliative care resources and choices at a local level.
‘’We want the community to have confidence and choice in their end-of-life care and this budget is a giant leap towards that outcome.’’
New data released last month revealed that there were 65,000 palliative care related hospitalisations in 2014-15, a 19 per cent increase from 2010-11.
The figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare also showed that, before their death, a greater proportion of people were accessing palliative care services in hospital.