Little Haven Palliative Care was founded in 1980 by Mrs Phyl Little (which is where the “Little” in Little Haven comes from). Having lost her husband, a daughter, and a nephew to cancer Mrs Little saw a need for better community support for cancer sufferers and their carers.
A group of friends and supporters joined together with the aim of building a hospice in Gympie for terminally ill patients, and to provide whatever support they could. For years, this group was funded solely by community donations, and literally operated out of the boot of a car, providing cancer support, respite care and equipment loans. Much of the money raised by this group went towards setting up the two palliative care rooms in the Gympie General Hospital. In 1989 Little Haven Cooloola / Sunshine Coast Palliative Care became an incorporated organisation.
Little Haven Palliative Care introduces Nursing Support
In 1992 the committee employed Mrs Lou Beresford RN part-time to coordinate palliative care services for cancer sufferers and the terminally ill, initially working from her home and then, in 1997, moving to rooms in the Hospital.
In 1999 under a Federal Government initiative, Queensland Health provided some funding to community groups for palliative care services, but this funding is seriously inadequate. Today this funding covers approximately 1/3rd of the direct care budget.
Under this initiative, a permanent home for Little Haven was found in the Gympie General Hospital grounds, a full range of palliative care services was made available, and nurses were employed to provide palliative care 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
Mrs Little’s original idea was to build a hospice especially for terminally ill patients. But, over the years, the thinking has changed. Today patients tend to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, or as long as they wish. At Little Haven, we provide the hospice service, but in the patient’s home where with the assistance of Little Haven’s professional palliative care they can live their last months or days with the people they love around them in their familiar environment.
In 2004 Little Haven Palliative Care saw the need for follow up bereavement care for our patient families and enhanced our care by employing the services of a Bereavement Support Nurse.
Little Haven’s specialised palliative care nursing and bereavement support is now provided to over 140 families in the Gympie and surrounding region each year. Little Haven continues to provide cancer and chemotherapy support to many others in the community and A Carer’s Support group is held on premise monthly.
Little Haven Palliative Care Nurses – On Call 24 / 7
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