Central Coast Palliative Care: Dedicated unit to be built at Gosford Hospital
Thursday, 16 July 2020
The campaign to establish a dedicated palliative care facility on the Central Coast has been running for more than eight years.
The Elsie’s Retreat Committee has put their heart and soul into lobbying for a facility where terminally ill patients can spend time with their family and carers in a “homelike” environment.
Now their prayers have been answered with today’s State Government announcement of a dedicated palliative care unit at Gosford Hospital. Planning for the new facility is already underway with construction to begin late this year.
Elsie’s Retreat Committee chair Margaret Pearce said the committee was thrilled with the news that Elsie’s Retreat would become a reality.
“Elsie’s Retreat will now finally happen,” she said.
“The new indoor and outdoor spaces will transform palliative services for patients, families and carers. We have always looked towards a sympathetic and homelike environment for our patients.
“This has been made possible by the amazing support of the community of the Central Coast.
“From countless community groups, politicians from all parties and Dr Andrew Montague,
chief executive of Central Coast Local Area Health.”
Central Coast Parliamentary Secretary Adam Crouch said it was critical that families facing the death of a loved one had more choices and greater access to high quality care.
“For many families – including my own – palliative care is an incredibly sensitive issue,” he said.
“The least we can do as a community and as a government is create the best facilities in a hospital setting.”
Momentum for a dedicated unit reached a head in late 2018 when terminally ill Woy Woy midwife Anna Edgell called for people to support the campaign just days before she died.
“Palliative care is worth fighting for, and it’s worth dying for,” Mrs Edgell said during the campaign.
Mrs Edgell’s message saw thousands of people sign an online petition for the facility.
Gosford state Labor MP Liesl Tesch has also been behind the push for a palliative care unit, pointing out that the coast has the largest population of centenarians in NSW, with 5.9 per cent of our population over 80 years old.
Elsie’s Retreat was named after a nurse who died inappropriately in a nursing home. The committee is supported by the Lions Club of Wyoming East Gosford Centennial.