NSW budget to fund 5,000 more end of life packages

The NSW government will provide a $56 million palliative care funding boost in the state budget.

An additional 5,000 End of Life Home Support packages will become available from next July as part of a $56 million palliative care package to be delivered in the NSW budget.

HammondCare CEO Mike Baird

The state budget will be handed down on November 17.

The home packages offer case management, personal care and domestic supports, as well as assistance with meals and transport.

Chief Executive of Palliative Care NSW Linda Hansen said the funding refleced a  multi-disciplinary approach to palliative care.

“This funding recognises the vital role of allied health professionals in supporting the physical and mental health needs of patients at this difficult time,” Ms Hansen said.

“Extending the program of in-home support will mean that more people will be able to achieve their goal of being cared for at home.”

Funding welcomed by providers

HammondCare, which offers in and out-patient palliative care services, has welcomed the announcement,  saying it will help more people fulfil their wish to die at home.

“This funding is a welcome commitment to allow more people to receive palliative care at home, surrounded by the people they love,” HammondCare CEO Mike Baird said.

HammondCare, which is part of a consortium contracted by NSW Health to provide non-clinical end of life home care in seven Local Health Districts deaths at home are three times less expensive than comparable inpatient palliative care.

Mr Baird said HammondCare is keen to continue working with NSW Health on providing end of life home support into the future, as well as exploring other palliative care opportunities, such as improved end of life care in residential aged care settings.

SilverChain also provides a palliative care home support package program.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says the funding will improve access to palliative care and boost the palliative care workforce.

“The unprecedented situation with COVID-19 has shown all of us the importance of having frank end of life discussions with our vulnerable loved ones,” he said in a statement.

 The budget package includes:

  • $4.5 million per year for up to 35 additional allied health professional positions such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dietitians and physiotherapists to support safe discharge from hospital so that people can be cared for at home if they choose
  • $1.2 million per year for palliative care education, training and capacity building
  • $2 million per year to improve access to bereavement and psychosocial support services
  • $25.6 million over four years to increase End of Life home support packages across NSW

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