The Health News – 17 September 2015

Overview:
• South West Palliative Care Services is calling for volunteers to help improve the quality of life of patients with terminal conditions. The group is holding an information session next month for people interested in volunteering. 

• Plans for a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle have moved forward, with the construction tender awarded. Children are currently treated in the main intensive care unit at John Hunter Hospital.

• Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has signed agreements with New South Wales and Victoria to proceed with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Mr Turnbull signed the deals alongside NSW Premier Mike Baird and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th September 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-16/south-west-wa-palliative-care-service-seeks-volunteers/6780414

A palliative care group in south-west Western Australia is calling for volunteers to help improve the quality of life of patients with terminal conditions.

Social worker Pippa Blackburn from South West Palliative Care Services said the service expanded when it combined with a community palliative care group in December.

She said the volunteer program had been organised by two final-year social work students.

“They’ve developed all the training package and everything else, so they’ve been able to assist us to get the volunteer program up and running,” she said.

“So it’s just the fact that our service has expanded so quickly and to such a large extent that we actually need volunteers now.”

She said volunteers could help in a number of ways, including contact with patients and their families.

“We’re looking for volunteers to help complement the care that we give patients and families in the community and basically volunteers we’re looking for who can provide support to the patient, support to carers and families,” she said.

The group is holding an information session next month for people interested in volunteering.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-16/tender-announced-for-john-hunter27s-paediatric-intensive-care-/6780200

Plans for a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle have moved forward, with the construction tender awarded.

Stephen Edwards Construction has been chosen to build the $14 million dollar eightbed unit, with work to begin this month.

Funding for the project was announced in the state budget and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Children are currently treated in the main intensive care unit at John Hunter Hospital.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-16/turnbull-signs-first-agreements-for-full-roll-out-of-ndis/6779810

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has signed agreements with New South Wales and Victoria to proceed with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The states are the first to enter agreements with the Commonwealth for the full roll-out, which will start July next year.

The deals cover about 140,000 people in New South Wales and 105,000 people in Victoria — more than half of all Australians expected to be eligible for the NDIS when it is fully rolled out.

Mr Turnbull signed the deals alongside NSW Premier Mike Baird and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

The PM said the agreement provided certainty for people with disabilities.

“This marks a huge milestone towards the delivery of one of the largest social policy reforms in our nation’s history,” Mr Turnbull said.

“The roll-out will be carefully managed to ensure the delivery of an NDIS that stands the test of time.

“The agreements balance improving services as quickly as possible with getting it right.

“The agreements also give certainty to their families who will receive help from the NDIS.”

The Victorian Government will contribute $2.5 billion per year and the Commonwealth will put forward $2.6 billion when the scheme is fully implemented.

Mr Andrews said the NDIS was “justice” for those in the community who expected the fair go and supported the NDIS offered them.

Mr Baird praised the new Prime Minister for prioritising the NDIS.

“It is an absolutely inspirational day for the country,” Mr Baird said.

Mr Baird said the deal would mean tens of thousands more people with disabilities in the state could access the help they needed.

Every Australian Counts national campaign director John Della Bosca said the agreement between the Commonwealth and the two states followed two successful trials.

NSW and Victoria have both sponsored the trials in the Hunter Valley and Barwon region respectively.

Mr Della Bosca said those trials showed 95 per cent of new clients were satisfied and rated their experience of the NDIS “good” or “very good”.

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