West Australian kids and families deserve palliative care choices

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West Australian kids and families deserve palliative care choices

Palliative care advocates are hopeful that West Australian families will still be able to access out of home respite care in the future, despite concerns expressed this week by the City of Nedlands.

The proposed seven bed hospice at Swanbourne will care for and support children and young people who are living with life limiting illness.

“The journey these kids travel with their families and support networks is one of great courage and many challenges,” says Lana Glogowski, CEO of Palliative Care Western Australia.

“No family wants to be in this position, but this facility and the community of carers and health professionals around it, are all focused on maximising the quality of life for these children and young people.

“The WA Paediatric Palliative Care Service and the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation are driving this purpose-built facility, and it’s important that all the stakeholders are heard, and that due process is followed.

“Specialist palliative out of home respite care is a choice that is not currently available to babies, children, young people, and families in WA; furthermore, there is a lack of choice when it comes to places of care at end of life.

“The palliative care sector and WA families have worked hard to get to this point and remain hopeful that the hospice will become a reality.

“Quality palliative care is all about having choices and control, these kids and families deserve that, and I am happy to meet and talk with anyone who wants to better understand the project and what is trying to be achieved.”

From a national perspective, Palliative Care Australia will soon launch the Paediatric Palliative Care National Action Plan, funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care. The action plan seeks to increase access to end of life care and deepen the choices children, young people and families have in every state and territory.

“It’s naturally a difficult journey for people, and one no parent or grandparent wants to consider, but it’s a journey we face together as a community,” says Camilla Rowland, CEO of Palliative Care Australia.

“We’ve had input from over 200 health professionals and over 50 families in the development of the National Action Plan, including from WA; all involved hope it gives some direction to government and puts some shape to the support and services needed – including the need for respite care.”

A final determination on the Swanbourne children’s hospice will be made by the State Development Assessment Unit of the Western Australian Planning Commission.