Palliative Care Nurses

Busselton Hospice Care Inc have called for more funding to extend their volunteer service into the community. Currently, there are two palliative care nurses who service the region from Busselton to Augusta. Busselton Hospice Care Inc board member Helen Walker said while the community was quite fortunate with its services in Busselton, there were not enough.

Ms Walker said they had 100 volunteers who were roster on to support and enhance the care provide at the four bedded hospice unit; so within the Busselton Health Campus. She said when nurses were called away to attend someone else; their volunteers could be there at any time with the patients and their families. “The fact is most people spend most of their time at home; 90% of time is not spent in front of a doctor or a nurse, the people are at home and need support at home,” she said.

Palliative care nurses

“The community services in our region are very stretch; they are extremely lucky they have very skill palliative care nurses; but they cannot possibly do the work across the whole region. “They strongly believe and they support the request for more funding for this area. “They want to extend our volunteer service; so to support the community because at the moment our volunteers do not go into people’s homes.

“To do that we need funding because you cannot have a volunteer service; unless they are well coordinate by a paid person.” Vasse MLA Libby Mettam raise a grievance in parliament calling for more funding for palliative care in the region. Ms Mettam said there was a need to ensure every Western Australian had access to high quality palliative care; so regardless of whether they live in regional areas.

Publicly funded inpatient

It is a critical service in any health system and deserves to be fully fund and accessible to all who need it, she said. WA holds the shameful title of having the lowest number of publicly fund inpatient palliative care beds per head of population in the country. A WA Country Health spokesperson said the palliative care patients were able to be admit; so to any public hospital in the South West with support provide by way of the regional palliative care team.

The spokesperson said the state government has commit $30.2 million from 2019 to 2023 to improve access to palliative care services in rural and regional WA. “This funding will allow for the establishment and expansion of palliative care services to include multidisciplinary palliative care teams, specialist palliative care physicians, nurses and seven day telehealtm,” the spokesperson said.