Summa Stephens, Jocelyn Piper, Steph Cooke MP and Dr Jacques Scholtz stand in a palliative care room in Cootamundra Hospital.
Summa Stephens, Community Care Manager, Murrumbidgee Local Health District; Jocelyn Piper, Facility Member, Cootamundra Hospital; Steph Cooke MP and Dr Jacques Scholtz, General Practitioner, Cootamundra Medical Centre.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced a $170,000 grant from the NSW Government to refurbish the Cootamundra Hospital Palliative Care Unit, helping to make patients, families and carers more comfortable.

“No one wants to end their days in a facility that feels sterile. This grant from the NSW Government will attempt to improve conditions for people who are sadly in the final stages of their lives by giving them a place that feels more like home,” Ms Cooke said

“These refurbishments will help our amazing hospital staff continue to do their work and give people a much more comfortable environment to spend time with their loved ones.”

The rooms will include a kitchenette, ensuite, new floor coverings, paint and soft furnishings.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District Chief Executive Jill Ludford said the refurbishments at Cootamundra Hospital will help bring some comfort to people at the end of life.

“We are really pleased to be upgrading our specialist palliative care services so that we can offer care as close to home as possible, said Ms Ludford.

“Families play such a pivotal role during end-of-life for palliative patients so it’s important that the space encourages loved ones to stay and take part in care and wellbeing.”

The Cootamundra Hospital is one of 34 palliative care facilities across the state that will be refurbished over the next two years, with planning underway for additional projects from 2021.

This follows the NSW Government’s commitment in 2019 of $10 million for palliative care facility refurbishments, as part of a $45 million enhancement over four years for palliative care, announced in the 2019-20 NSW budget.

This funding is part of the $10.1 billion the NSW Government is investing in health infrastructure over the next four years to upgrade and build 29 hospital and health facilities.

The NSW Government’s 2019-20 Budget commitment also includes recruitment of 100 new palliative care nurses, more Aboriginal Health Workers, and support for digital health to improve access to palliative care.

This is in addition to the $100 million palliative care package announced in the 2017-18 Budget.