Question - Northern Hospice
Tuesday 8 November 2022, Question without notice
Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
Regarding the proposed hospice for the north of the state, and in light of the federal government's commitment to provide $20 million towards its construction, can the Leader please advise:
(1) Have any discussions or contractual arrangements been entered into between the state and federal governments to this end? If not, when can a partnership to design and construct the hospice be expected to be entered into between the state and federal governments;
(2) What progress towards site planning has been made and/or has a location been selected;
(3) What role, if any, will the Launceston General Hospital have in the planning, development and construction of the hospice; and
(4) How will the hospice be managed when it is constructed - i.e. how does the Tasmanian Department of Health plan to oversee the operations of the hospice?
I thank the member for her question.
(1) The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that Tasmanians have access to the best possible palliative care when and where they, their families, and carers need it. Following the federal Labor Government's election commitment in May 2022, to provide funding for construction of a new hospice within the Launceston General Hospital precinct, the incoming Australian Government advised that detailed information on the timing and delivery of its election commitments will be confirmed through the federal budget in October 2022. The Tasmanian Government is pleased that the federal Budget 2022-23, delivered on 25 October 2022, confirms the Australian Government has allocated funding to its commitment to fund construction of a northern hospice. This recent budget announcement will now enable the Australian Government to commence discussions with the Tasmanian Government about delivery of the project.
(2) Following this recent budget commitment, the Australian Government will begin negotiations with the Tasmanian Department of Health to inform a project agreement to identify the project key deliverables and related time frames. The Department of Health will ensure that workforce, clinical and service planning is undertaken to support operations of the new facility. As the funding has only very recently been confirmed, I can advise that a site is yet to be selected. However, the department is considering possibilities.
(3) The relevant Launceston General Hospital clinical units will provide clinical input into the functional design brief required to enable planning and design of the hospice facility. The planning, design and construction will be managed by the Department of Health's Infrastructure Services division.
The Department of Health will work with the Palliative Care clinical network and the Friends of Northern Hospice group to plan the new facility, with regard to best‑practice design principles and standards for admitted palliative care patients. The Department of Health will also be responsible for developing a service model for the new facility which will consider the service profile, staffing requirements, patient catchment and operational funding.
(4) Operational and clinical governance arrangements for the new facility will be determined through consultation with Northern Specialist Palliative Care Services, the clinical network and LGH management.