Caring on the coast

  • by Kate Bowman
  • June 1, 2023

Gosford Hospital opened it’s new palliative care unit back in April 2021, right in the middle of COVID restrictions. A few weeks ago the Volunteer Support Services Programme finally had the opportunity to make a site visit.

The dream of a Palliative Care Unit on the Central Coast become a reality thanks to the years of campaigning and fundraising by the ‘orange army’ of Elsie’s Retreat volunteers as well as support from local businesses, the Local Health District and the NSW Government.

The new Palliative Care Unit can expand to 14 beds and includes sofa beds in patient rooms for family members/carers to use; two large family rooms; a lounge area with kitchenette facilities and comfortable lounges; plus a children’s area with toys. A beautiful outdoor deck area with an automatic all-weather cover overlooks the green mountains nearby.

Volunteer Paul Russell loves the time he spends at the unit. He spends a few hours there every Friday morning engaging with patients and visitors, and assisting staff.

“I love chatting with people the most but I also give the nurses a bit of a hand, keeping the place in order, looking after blankets and flowers and vases and things too,” says Paul.

Volunteer Services Manager, Kami Dibden, says that her volunteers also have the option to visit clients in the community.

“We still don’t have the number of community referrals we did before COVID but over time we expect this will improve,” she said.

The NSW Government announced late last year that Wyong will also be getting it’s own dedicated in-patient palliative care unit as part of the Wyong Hospital redevelopment. Once operational, this unit will provide 12 palliative care beds in a homely environment, with access to single rooms, family amenities and an outdoor space.

Main photo: (L-R) Kate Bowman PCNSW, Kami Dibden Volunteer Services Manager Central Coast LHD Palliative Care Volunteer Service, Paul Russell Volunteer.

Upcoming Events

  • DECEMBER 7, 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteer Services – December meeting & Christmas lunch

The role of the Network is to ensure best practice for NSW Managers of Pall...

Read more

Become a member of Palliative Care NSW

Palliative Care New South Wales is the peak body in NSW representing palliative care providers and those with an interest in palliative care. Palliative Care New South Wales is a member of the national peak body Palliative Care Australia.

Join today and receive discounts, benefits and more!
Special member rate available for volunteers.

Subscribe to our eNews

Be the first to know our latest new, events, and research!