Palliative care service closed

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE's terminally ill will no longer have the support of a local palliative care service with news that the facility has been closed.

The Australian Red Cross service yesterday claimed the palliative care service would close because the need was now being met by other local services.

The service closed at the end of June, but the official announcement was not made until yesterday.

'Despite the closure of this particular volunteer service, Red Cross will however continue to hire out its specialist palliative care beds through its medical equipment hire service,' Australian Red Cross executive director Greg Goebel said.

However former co-ordinator of the palliative care service Bar-bara Kennedy yesterday said the need in Gladstone would no longer be met.

Ms Kennedy said volunteers at the palliative care service not only provided equipment for those caring for the terminally ill, but also provided care as well.

'We care for the carers,' she said.

'For instance if your caring for your mother, we will come over and look after her so you can go to work or do your own thing.'

'There is no other service in town that does that.'

Ms Kennedy said while there were local services that provided home care for the terminally ill, it wasn't on a voluntary basis, meaning it would cost more for them to use.

Ms Kennedy added that the volunteers would continue to care for their existing patients on an informal basis, 'as friends.'

The Red Cross yesterday said the palliative care beds would still be provided to those who required them, with St Vincent de Paul to deliver them and collect them when they were no longer needed.



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