Northern hospice hope laid out to countil

HOPE: Friends of the Northern Hospice Lyn Lichon and Barb Baker. Picture: Scott Gelston

HOPE: Friends of the Northern Hospice Lyn Lichon and Barb Baker. Picture: Scott Gelston

The City of Launceston heard from supporters of a hospice in Northern Tasmania at its Strategic Planning and Policy Committee meeting on Monday.

Representatives from the Friends of Northern Hospice and the Northern Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation spoke to Alderman and council officers about the possibility of moving a motion of support for a dedicated hospice in Northern Tasmania.

Vice-Chairperson of the Friends of the Northern Hospice Barb Baker said while it was not impossible to care for those at the end of their lives at home, it was very difficult.

"What we want is a palliative, ground floor home like facility … so people will be cared for with dignity, surrounded by their loved ones and pets if they desire,” she said.

She said a feasibility study funded by the state government prior to the 2014 election, which showed that services were sufficient, was flawed. “There are many gaps identified by consumers in the current palliative care services,” Ms Baker said.

“They were obviously not taking into account the aging population … [or] statistics relating to deaths at the Launceston General Hospital.”

She said another study in 2004 showed that only 50 per cent of beds needed for palliative and end of care life in Tasmania were available.

Chairman of the Northern Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation Andrew Floyd said they were hoping for support in identifying a Greenfield site close to a park, which could help gather community support.

“Our foundation and the Friends are seeking to get some strategic partners in place ... we’re looking to get a statement of support from council ahead of World Hospice Day on October 8,” he said. He estimated the initial capital costs would be about three million dollars, with about four million in ongoing costs under the DHHS model, but that could be reduced under another model.

“If you go to pretty much anywhere else on the map of Australia and sat you finger down, you would find a hospice being built or has been built,” Mr Floyd said.

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