June 30, 2022

Welcome home Palliative Care!

Our Palliative Care Unit has moved into their new home in Ward 3 at Northern Hospital Epping!

The palliative care team successfully completed their move yesterday – Wednesday, 29 June.

At the beginning of 2022, the Palliative Care Unit was required to move from Heritage, Epping Gardens due to the existing healthcare facility being expanded.

Julius Quiring, Palliative Care Unit Nurse Unit Manager, explained that staff were attached to the space at Epping Gardens due to its beautiful, homely surroundings – one that their patients and families embraced.

“Change is part of life and rather than being sad about leaving, we need to embrace the future and look at the positives about returning to the Northern Health main site,” he explained.

The priority for the team was to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible for patients.

“Just like when moving house, there was a lot of planning required and the move came with its challenges, given the entire unit was planned to be relocated over just a few days,” he said.

Julius said the team was flexible and generous when assisting with the move.

“Ward 3 is a big space which is clean and has recently been painted. It’s a canvas which we will expand on and make our own. We desire a homely environment where, on entering, patients and their families feel the positive vibes of staff within a relaxing home-like entity,” he said.

Having our Palliative Care Unit located at Northern Hospital Epping comes with a number of benefits for patients, families and staff.

“All of the different departments who previously needed to visit us at Heritage will now be just minutes away. For example, I’m sure the pharmacists will feel this benefit, as we admit and discharge patients,” Julius said.

“Our urgent referrals necessary for palliative patients will also predominately be available sooner. And, the big one being, as patients arrive at the Emergency Department, if requiring admission, transport to an external facility will now be avoided.”

To enhance the Ward 3 courtyard for our palliative care patients, funds raised from this year’s Dry July campaign will go towards the refurbishment of the garden.

“A garden to be created for patients to sit outside while sharing time with their loved ones will be an excellent start to our new journey!” Julius said.

“A beautiful garden helps restore the soul, and reminds people that despite being unwell, they remain very much connected to their community.”

Julius and his team are excited to make their new space a home.

“Goodbye beautiful Heritage building – we created so many wonderful memories there, and, did so much great work. The cards and letters prove ‘we did a fabulous job’! However, we are on the move and we will create more of the same. At the end of the day, the building and its surroundings are one thing, but it’s the people within the walls that count. You can count on us to make our new home one that we can be all proud of and, importantly, meets the needs of our patients,” he said.

“Thank you to everyone who were very sensitive to our needs over this period. Finally, I can’t thank the palliative care team enough for their hard work, flexibility and understanding. Having confidence that they are supporting the unit and will do everything that they can to contribute, continue to inspire me to lead this extraordinary team.”

Palliative Care Unit staff

The new unit can be contacted on 9485 9258. Please note: The referral and admission process for palliative care will remain the same, via the palliative care consulting team on 0407 002 473 or the On Call Palliative Care Consultant out of hours via switchboard.

Featured image shows our Palliative Care Unit staff.