Member for Morwell Russell Northe is calling upon the State Government to establish a dedicated Hospice Care Facility in the Latrobe Valley region by utilising the now vacant Hazelwood House in Churchill.
Hazelwood House closed its doors in December 2019 despite the local community advocating for the facility to be repurposed in some form. Residents of Hazelwood House were subsequently transferred to another aged care facility in Traralgon rendering Hazelwood House vacant. Since that time Latrobe City Council have taken over the precinct and recently released an expression of interest process.
“We have a perfectly suitable 38 bed facility in our local community that could easily accommodate a much needed Hospice right here in the Latrobe Valley area” said Mr Northe.
Mr Northe said there was also strong support from a number of organisations and community members for a Hospice in the region.
“In 2019 Latrobe City Council moved a motion asking the Health Minister to work with them on a suitable location for a Hospice and to provide funding for the construction of such a facility as soon as practical” Mr Northe said
Latrobe Health Advocate in Jane Anderson has also identified that improvements to end of life palliative care were urgently needed. After undertaking extensive stakeholder and community engagement the Latrobe Health Advocate identified twelve recommendations for action with the establishment of a Hospice being the number one recommendation.
“I have had many conversations with local residents over a period of years on the concept of a dedicated hospice for our community. We currently have the already established Hazelwood House which is an ideal setting for a Hospice currently sitting idle so it makes sense to at the very least explore what is a unique opportunity” Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe has previously written to the Health Minister advocating for a dedicated Hospice in the region and is currently awaiting a reply to his correspondence.
“Surely with Hazelwood House available the State Government could at the very least explore this option and consider a Hospice at this locality” added Mr Northe.
To view a copy of the Latrobe Health Advocates report into “Improving palliative care services in Latrobe” please visit the following website.