Multi-million dollar win for big-hearted Gympie organisation
THE future of vital Gympie charity Little Haven Palliative Care is guaranteed following confirmation today of an extra $4 million in funding from the State Government.
This follows Federal Government funding of $750,000 over three years announced earlier this month.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the additional funding would be provided over four years to ensure that patients could continue to access community based palliative care.
"We've been talking to palliative care organisations like Little Haven for nearly a year now to understand how we can better fund accessible palliative care services as part of our review into the sector,” Mr Miles said.
"What we found was that patients really valued the service provided by Little Haven but that they needed additional funding if they were going to continue to deliver these vital services for more people.
"Patients expect to be able to follow through with their wishes that they pass away at home or in a home-like setting, and this additional funding ensures that they can.”
Mr Miles said the $4 million boost was in addition to the almost $317,000 the Palaszczuk Government had already provided to the service in 2018-19.
"We know that the Sunshine Coast's growing and ageing population means that there will be an increased demand on these types of services in the coming years, so this funding allows Little Haven to keep up with those demands,” he said.
"We want to ensure these services are properly funded and are capable of meeting the needs and preferences of the population now and into the future.”
The additional funding comes as the State Government is undertaking a review into the sector, with a Parliamentary Inquiry due to report by 30 November 2019.
On the Sunshine Coast, the Palaszczuk Government funds critical specialist palliative care services at the Caloundra Health Centre, as well as Little Haven, which is located on the Gympie Hospital site, and Cittamani Hospice Service, near Palmwoods Station.
In 2018-19, the Government is investing $114 million for palliative care services in Queensland, including over $9 million for non-government organisations.
Little Haven CEO Sue Manton has today thanked Mr Miles and Queensland Health "for this incredible announcement”.
"This is something that has been a long time coming and I really want to acknowledge the work that has been done to get us here.
"This is fantastic recognition for the model of care our community has built in caring for our dying. It started 40 years ago with the vision of Phyllis Little and has grown a service that sets the example for all Australians.
"Study after study has shown that this is the absolute best model of care for patients and their families,” Ms Manton said.
"This investment demonstrates that the Minister and the State Government understand how important community-based palliative care is.
"It acknowledges Little Haven has been operating on a shoestring budget for so long - and this is what QHealth costs the care we're providing at.
"This is fantastic recognition for the hard work and dedication of our clinical team, our many volunteers and our enormous support base.
"With the funding guaranteed we can address the wage disparity, so those wishing to work in this specialised field of nursing no longer have to do so for wages well under their QHealth counterparts.
"With our ageing population, demand for these services is going to continue to grow so to see such a sizeable investment is especially heartening.”
Little Haven has been strongly supported by the Gympie community for many years, and has been able each year to meet a "very significant fundraising burden” because of local generosity.
”It has been a true community effort and it will continue to be,” Ms Manton said.
”It has always been our mission at Little Haven to never turn someone away and to provide care to anyone who needs it - this funding means we will be able to continue this mission.
”At the end of the day, everyone just wants their loved ones to get the best possible care - that's what we do every single day at Little Haven and with this funding we will continue to do that well into the future.
”With the continued support of our volunteers and community we will work towards the visions and long term goals identified in our strategic plan.
”Special recognition and thanks go to Bronwyn McFarlane, our clinical co-ordinator, who has been the heart of our wonderful team. She has been an integral part of directing the quality end of life care provided to over 2000 families in her time with the organisation.”