Appointing a full-time, permanent palliative care specialist in the region is at the top of the wish list for local organisation Manning Valley Push 4 Palliative (MVP4P).
With the rate of people requiring palliative care on the rise, MVP4P chair Judy Hollingworth said a full-time specialist will help with the organisation of patient needs.
“That would make such a difference to how easy it is for the whole group of specialists, general practitioners and nurses to work with palliative care and have a go-to person on hand,” Mrs Hollingworth said.
“Our palliative care needs are increasing and we all know what population growth is like- it’s aging more and aging faster.
“There are also young people who need the care.”
That would make such a difference to how easy it is for the whole group of specialists, general practitioners and nurses to work with palliative care and have a go-to person on hand.MVP4P chair Judy Hollingworth
Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead supports the move.
“I’ve spoken to the group about the need for a specialist and the minister (Health Minister Brad Hazzard) about looking at Manning Hospital being the location,” Mr Bromhead said.
It was a big win for local patients on Wednesday, January 9 with the arrival of new equipment to the hospital.
Through a $20,000 State Government grant, six air filled pressure cushions, two air mattress overlays, 12 easy pressure cushions, two single sofa beds and two heavy duty powered recliner/lift chairs have been purchased.
Mrs Hollingworth said the equipment highlights the need to put patient comfort at the forefront.
“It’s clear people know and care about palliative care and I know that we’ve helped make that happen and raise the profile of palliative care in the area.
“People think about, seek, want and get it.
“The State Government knows there is an awareness here and we are going to go on being noisy about it,” Mrs Hollingworth said.
Mr Bromhead said the equipment considered the needs of current and future patients.
“People need to be cared for with the best equipment, the best that can be provided in the last stages of life.
“We’re the oldest electorate in NSW therefore we’ve got the higher instances of medical conditions and with age comes cancers and other diseases.
“What was the norm in the standard practice 30 years ago is now found to be the wrong thing to be doing and so what we’re providing here is the latest they need in the last stages of life.
“I’m very happy, very pleased to be part of it and support MVP4P,” Mr Bromhead said.
Mrs Hollingworth outlined the functionality of the equipment.
“The air mattresses have a flexible function so when a patient is on the bed, it moves to keep you comfortable so if you’re in bed for a long time pressure sores can appear where the points of the body are on the mattress.
“They start to get inflamed and then can form ulcers.
“So if you don’t have something like that which is moving and keeping the circulation even around the body, those pressure sores come up much faster and add to the unhappiness and the difficulty of the person’s illness.
“It keeps people comfortable, helps them sleep so they are magnificent things.
“The air pressure cushions help massage the body and can be used on chairs as well.
“It makes it more comfortable and easier for the carers because you want to minimise the difficulty of the injury or worsening of the condition.
People need to be cared for with the best equipment, the best that can be provided in the last stages of lifeMember for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead
“The mechanised chairs allows people to be in bed for longer periods of time, sit up and join in with family or watch television.
“You can arrange the chairs around the physical condition of the person.
“The sofa beds mean when someone is in hospital for a while, the family can come and be in the room with them and sleep overnight.
“The opportunity to be together is very precious,” Mrs Hollingworth said.
Alongside Can Assist Manning Valley, MVP4P will receive monetary donations from this Saturday’s TasteFest on the Manning.
“We’ll be down there selling fruit salad and yoghurt,” Mrs Hollingworth smiled.
March’s Seniors Festival in the Myall Lakes will also support the organisation.
MVP4P has raised $130,000 in the last three and a half years.