New respite and hospice care facility for children in WA

West Australian children with life-limiting health conditions are set to get new help with the construction of the state’s first and only dedicated respite and hospice care facility for children.

The WA Children’s Hospice will be jointly funded by the Federal Government, the WA State Government and the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, with the Government committing $7.5 million towards the project.

Health Minister, Greg Hunt, says hospitals could often be a stressful environment for children.

“Children’s hospices help to reduce the stress of a very difficult time by offering a more home-like atmosphere and allow families to stay together,” says Minister Hunt.

“Children’s hospices can also offer therapies and activities not easily accessible in hospitals and mainstream hospices, such as respite care, outdoor play, child appropriate nutrition and meals, multi-sensory play and onsite hydrotherapy.”

The WA Government, in partnership with the Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) and the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, will build WA’s first children’s hospice.

The WA Government has transferred the land at Swanbourne to the Child and Adolescent Health Service, and has provided $3.2 million for project planning and design.

The Foundation will provide funding for the construction, fitout and ongoing non-operational costs of the hospice, while CAHS will be responsible for governance, management and ongoing operational clinical and support services funding.

Dr Rosanna Capolingua, CAHS Board Chair, says the service welcomed the investment from the Government towards the building of the first children’s hospice in the state.

“This facility is such an important and much-needed service for children living with a life-limiting illness, and their families,” says Dr Capolingua.

“The CAHS Board would also like to acknowledge the work the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation has done in connecting with generous donors in our community enabling this hospice to be built on land provided by the WA Government.

“Having a dedicated facility in close proximity to WA’s tertiary children’s hospital, with top-class medical equipment and expert staff, in a beautiful setting overlooking the Indian Ocean, will provide some of our most vulnerable children and their families with much-needed respite and support.”

“On behalf of the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, I want to thank the Australian Government for this incredibly generous donation that recognises the need for a hospice for young palliative care patients and their families,” says Ian Campbell, Chairman, Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“This funding, on this one exciting day, moves the WA Children’s Hospice from dream to reality, providing the biggest single financial contribution alongside our other donors, large and small. We can now look forward with confidence to start building in Swanbourne in a few short months’ time,” says Mr Campbell.

The WA Children’s Hospice will provide palliative out-of-home respite care and support for children and families.