Palliative care services in the ACT are set for a major expansion with a $6 million commitment to Clare Holland House from the Federal Government and local charity the Snow Foundation.
The Commonwealth will contribute $4 million, the Snow Foundation $2 million and the ACT Government is considering how it can further support palliative care as it awaits the report of Legislative Assembly’s Inquiry into End of Life Choices, as well as joining with the Foundation in a new fundraising initiative.
Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the $4 million funding for Clare Holland House would mean an increase in the number of specialist in-patient palliative care beds, as well as improvements and development of administration and clinical space.
Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, said there would also be more family-friendly features that will enable loved ones to stay with patients on site.
He said the project would allow Canberrans to remain close to their families.
“By expanding palliative care services at Clare Holland House, people won’t have to move away from Canberra, and will be close to the emotional and social support of their loved ones,” Senator Seselja said.
ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris, said the upgrade and extension of the facility would ensure the community continued to receive the highest quality care delivered with dignity and respect to people at the end of their life.
“We know that as our community grows and as our community ages, the number of people accessing palliative care services is growing as well,” she said.
The Minister said the ACT Government was also considering how best to increase spending on palliative care services.
“We are considering how best to support the expansion of palliative care services, and we look forward to the conclusion of the Legislative Assembly’s Inquiry into End of Life Choices to further inform this work. These two areas of work are perfectly timed,” she said.
Ms Fitzharris also acknowledged and thanked The Snow Foundation for their generous $2 million donation towards the project.
“The Snow Foundation came to us wanting to partner on this project, because they know it will make a real difference to the lives of so many people across Canberra, and I’d like to thank them for their very generous contribution,” she said.
CEO of The Snow Foundation, Georgina Byron said the organisation was proud to support Clare Holland House.
“This expansion will allow more Canberrans to embrace the work of Claire Holland House and ensure more Canberrans live with dignity through their final days,” Ms Byron said.
In addition to the funding announced today, the ACT Government will continue to work with The Snow Foundation to establish a fundraising initiative that will enable the community to contribute to the project and the important work that Clare Holland House does into the future.
The expansion of Clare Holland House is expected to start in 2019. Further information on the project will be announced as planning and design work progresses.
Clare Holland House in Barton is part of Calvary Bruce Public Hospital’s Community Specialist palliative care services.