BATHURST will have another two palliative care beds and will gain a dedicated specialist palliative care registered nurse, under a $500,000 package announced by Paul Toole, MP.
The announcement came almost 12 months to the day Mr Toole pledged four palliative care beds for the city, but said the revised model, with two fewer beds, took into account the fact many people undergoing palliative care, prefer to die at home.
Mr Toole said palliative care patients deserve the best of care, whether they are at home, living in an aged care facility or are in hospital.
"Under this funding package, Bathurst Health Service will gain an extra dedicated specialist palliative care registered nurse working four days a week. There'll also be additional social work services provided to provide support to patients and their loved ones."
He said as part of the package $280,000 will be spent over the next two years to improve the palliative care facilities at the hospital itself, and to trial an enhancement of Hospital in the Home, which focuses specifically on people receiving palliative care.
This program provides equipment and support to people who need clinical care, but are able to receive it in their own homes, keeping them in familiar surroundings where they are comfortable.
Mr Toole said extending the program is going to be of great benefit to the many people who want to die at home, saying the new model "really is the best of best worlds."
Mr Toole said Bathurst will be the first place the registered nurses are rolled out.
"It's being rolled out in Bathurst but I expect it will be adopted in other areas around the state.," he said adding "it was great to see Bathurst health care leading the way."
But most importantly, he said patients who are receiving palliative care can chose if they want to die in hospital with support structures in place, or die at home, where they, and their families will be supported by the registered nurse.
Mr Toole said under this model, all the needs of the community will be met.
Bathurst Base Hospital's General Manager, Cathy Marshall, said the two dedicated beds will be housed within the medical ward of the hospital, and said the recruitment process for the dedicated palliative care RN is already underway.
Chair of Daffodil Cottage's Advisory Council, Mrs Gen Croaker, said the announcement was "wonderful news" and "very much needed for the people of Bathurst and it's surrounds."
She said the model "gave people choice."