The most important well being precinct in NSW with no devoted palliative care unit


“Palliative care is multi-disciplinary. It is not simply the medical doctors. It is the crew of nurses, allied well being and religious care that’s required,” stated retired palliative care doctor Dr Philip Lee.

“Sufferers are usually not getting that whereas there isn’t any devoted unit.”

Dr Lee is the previous director of supportive and palliative drugs at WSLHD and has been main the push for the specialist unit over the previous three years.

He stated with no devoted ward Westmead was unable to confess unstable palliative care sufferers instantly from the neighborhood, whereas the hospital additionally struggled to recruit medical doctors in palliative drugs coaching positions.

“Western Sydney Native Well being District routinely describes itself as the most important well being precinct within the southern hemisphere. If that is the case, how can they justify not having a devoted palliative care unit?,” Dr Lee stated.


“The individuals of western Sydney need to have an applicable, devoted stand-alone [unit] staffed by registered nurses with palliative care and expertise.”

He added that palliative care was not solely about end-of-life care, but in addition supportive look after sufferers present process lively remedy to enhance their high quality of life.

Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou final yr wrote to Well being Minister Brad Hazzard in search of pressing intervention to reinstate the palliative care ward.

About 240,000 individuals dwell within the Cumberland space, with 15 per cent over the age of 60.

“We’ve an ageing inhabitants and it is solely going to worsen. I wish to see our residents get the most effective care and assets attainable,” Cr Christou stated.

A spokeswoman for WSLHD stated a $three.eight million refurbishment to Westmead’s most cancers and haematology ward in 2017 resulted in additional single rooms, to make sure the realm was appropriate and applicable for each most cancers and palliative care sufferers.

“The NSW Authorities invests greater than $220 million in palliative care annually,” the spokeswoman stated, pointing to an extra $56 million introduced for palliative care within the November state finances.

Westmead sufferers can be referred to the palliative care unit at Mount Druitt Hospital, in addition to Silver Chain; an in-home care service to which the hospital has referred greater than 2500 sufferers since July 2017.

Labor’s performing well being spokesman Paul Scully stated the problem was an instance of western Sydney lacking out on the companies and funding the neighborhood wants.

“It beggars perception that we’ve each one of many largest well being precincts within the state and an ageing inhabitants, but palliative care companies appear to be going backwards,” Mr Scully stated.

“As soon as once more this authorities ignores hospital is about greater than bricks and mortar.”

Begin your day knowledgeable

Our Morning Version publication is a curated information to crucial and fascinating tales, evaluation and insights. Signal as much as The Sydney Morning Herald’s publication here.

Most Considered in Nationwide