State government provide funding boost to Ballarat Hospice and Ballarat Health Services

Ballarat Hospice patients will be the beneficiaries of additional funding from the state government to better equip front line workers.  

Better services: Ballarat Hospice staff Vicky Smith, Peter Jones and Kerri-Ann Batchelor prepare for the $183,000 equipment upgrade.  Picture: Kate Healy

Better services: Ballarat Hospice staff Vicky Smith, Peter Jones and Kerri-Ann Batchelor prepare for the $183,000 equipment upgrade. Picture: Kate Healy

On Wednesday Health Minister Jill Hennessy announced $183,000 for Hospice, which will be used to deliver a new van, new staff vehicles, additional medical equipment as well as new communication technology.   

Hospice will also receive new duress alarms, allowing staff to more promptly respond to the needs of their clients. 

Ballarat Health Services will also benefit from the government’s $5 million palliative care investment, receiving $44,000 for a new vehicle as well as iPads for staff members.   

Hospice maintenance worker Peter Jones said the new van would be particularly beneficial in providing palliative care clients with efficient services.   

“I’ll be able to come in and look at the computer and check the referrals and load them all up in one,” Mr Jones said.   “It will save heaps of time and I’ll be able to keep a lot of gear on board with me.”  

Ballarat Hospice currently services 170 clients throughout the region, allowing those in the final stages of life to remain in the comfort of their own homes.    

Ballarat Hospice palliative care nurse Vicky Smith said ensuring front line workers were well equipped was crucial in allowing palliative care professionals to ease the burden on other medical services such the ambulance and hospital systems.    

“It improves the quality of care in the home we can provide because we can access equipment that helps people be in their home and when someone needs access to equipment they really need it straight away,” Ms Smith said.

“Treatment and disease can often compromise someone’s daily functions, so just getting up out of a chair can be difficult and that might lead them to go to hospital, so this allows us to keep people at home when they otherwise might have to be in care.”  

In a statement, Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said Hospice was an organisation close to her heart due to its work with her daughter prior to her death in 2014.  

“Ballarat Hospice and Ballarat Health Care both provided end-of-life care to my daughter Sinead, so I know exactly what an extraordinary job their staff do. I'm proud that our government is supporting them in their work."