Below is the active timeline of Little Haven’s fight for recognition and equitable funding from State and federal Governments for Gympie’s long running and successful Community Based Palliative Care model.
Disappointingly once again we are facing a funding challenge as our 4 year Queensland Health funding agreement comes to an end in June 2023.
In April 2023, CEO Sue Manton & Board President Brandy Murley met with representatives from Queensland Health, hopeful that they would be discussing as part of the contract renewal process an ongoing and sustainable funding model for Little Haven. However, the outcome of that meeting left Sue & Brandy disheartened and concerned. Despite their best efforts to engage in a dialogue about a sustainable funding model for Little Haven, the five QHealth officials present showed no interest in exploring this matter. What they did do was advise, not only their inability to commit to the contract renewal, even at this late stage, but regrettably advised there would be no additional funding to address the substantial growth Little Haven has had in the last 4 years.
In an effort to address this sustainability challenge, Little Haven has requested a meeting with the Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP, the Queensland Minister for Health. A detailed meeting request and supporting information have been submitted to the Minister's office, outlining the urgent need for sustainable, and ongoing funding for Little Haven's nationally recognized gold standard Community Based Palliative Care Model.
You can read the letter to the minister by clicking the button below.
Timelines: Funding Fight
Tuesday 25th May 2021. ABC Radio's Drive program. ABC Drive host Annie Gaffney's interview with Little Haven Palliative Care CEO Sue Manton.
... Little Haven Palliative Care Incorporated in Gympie. Hi Sue, tell us a little bit about Little Haven, it’s a community driven model of Palliative Care I understand, how does it work exactly?
Good afternoon Annie. Little Haven was established over 40 years ago by Phyllis Little, who is the founder which is where the Little comes from. The idea was, she lost her husband and daughter within a number of weeks of each other and realized that there needs to be better care of the dying. So she came back and made it her life mission to put a better network of support around patients facing a similar situation to her family, and from that we have grown a model of care that I think very much meets everything that Shyla was describing, it's holistic care. Care of the, you know, psychological, spiritual, complex symptom management, emotional, all of the things, and looking after the carer as well. So I think the best sorts of Palliative Care come from a community desire, a compassionate community wishing to empower family to enable their loved ones to remain in the place of their choosing and to have the support that they need 24/7.
Do you also offer in facility care as well as home care?
We don't. Initially Phyl Little's idea was to build a stand alone Hospice, and there are some beautiful Hospices around Queensland, but we are really offering our hospice in the home because A) we didn't get the funding that we needed at the beginning, and along the way realized that a lot more people could be cared for in that environment for the money that we had available. Currently Little Haven is caring for 104 patients out in the community across a 70-kilometre radius from our organization and probably if we had a Hospice, you would be looking at 4 to 6 beds.
We do have 2 rooms we have built up in the hospital, at, you know, 20 or 30 years ago, historically we built those 2 rooms, so families can stay with their loved ones in there. But it's still quite a clinical environment, but, they're beautifully cared for in there as well. If families are unable to provide support at home or patients don't have dedicated carers, we can look after them at home for as long as possible, but at some point they may need to come into hospital for those last final days of life.
What's the level of demand like for your services?
We are being hammered at the moment, because we have drawn so much from our community over the years Annie, we have been needing to fund our service so heavily up until recent times, we just had a wonderful injection of financial support from Queensland Health, but we have always taken it to be our responsibility to be very responsive to our community needs. Gympie is in a very high, has a higher than above Queensland average aging population demographic. And I think also at the moment there has been some problems with other aged care providers not having adequate support, so we are getting a lot of additional admissions. In the last 18 days we had something like 28 admissions, so we always try and respond to those needs, we've always, we try not to turn people away particularly if they're in those, needing to be supported for the last weeks of life, so far we manage. We do have a very strong commitment from our board to always try to just expand our services to meet the needs of our community.
You also work with a lot of volunteers at Little Haven, so how many people have you got volunteering and what kind of roles do they have?
So we have about 170 volunteers and some of those are you know, very rarely do we see them, but we know they are there if we need them, but some of them are quite dedicated doing various roles every day. We use our volunteers in a clinical setting, we have respite volunteers who will go out and help families, just sort of work in with that family and do little errands for them, maybe sit with the patient while the carer wants to go out or you know, sit with the carer to give them some companionship as well, or someone who is unwell, go and collect things from the shop for them, make meals or various other things. We also have volunteers who help in the administrative area, just keep costs down, we've got complementary therapists; we have a very strong program of therapies like Massage, Reiki, Bowen Therapy, all sorts of things and our therapists provide those without charge to the organization or the patient. They're all fully qualified and keep their registration up to date with their professional body but they volunteer their time. One of those therapists for example has been with us for about 11 years and he just clicked over 2,000 massages.
Pretty impressive and giving up 1 day a week. We have obviously a huge fundraising contingent of volunteers as well and so we've got a marketplace which is a license to print money, apparently. it's really lovely, we are recycling lots of things through the community and we are also raising lots of money to support our patients at home. A lot of our volunteers come back into our service as a way of giving back. We might have cared for their loved one and that model I particularly love, because I think they're given a new sense of purpose, build up their social support system and basically a reason to get out of bed in the morning, at times, you know.
Yeah, I know Sue, that you said at times, that you, we are almost out of time, but you said that you have received funding from Queensland Health, which has kept you going, but if you could have access to more funding, which Palliative Care QLD is calling for, what would you do with that money, how would it help your service?
I think, I'm very grateful for the level of support we've got, I think Queensland Health is focusing on Community Based Palliative Care and the benefits of that and realize that it's actually a cost neutral model, there's been lots of modelling done about that. So, I've advocated strongly for that funding. Right at the moment we are well positioned, with our community chip in, and I think it's very important that communities do buy in to care of the dying, I think that's a great model, so for now we're quite good, I just need a commitment from QLD Health, and I believe it will happen, that as our service needs more support it will get it. But what I am advocating for and working with lots of communities around us, is to stretch that Community Based Palliative Care Network service further than just our "lucky lottery", as you say. So you know Fraser Coast as Shyla mentioned is building a Hospice up there, Rockhampton is looking at building or has a very strong case before Queensland Health to build a Community Based Palliative Care service, and I know QLD Health is interested in it. I know they are addressing it and while we always welcome more money I think it’s great that we are moving in that direction. It is Community Based Palliative Care and it should be available 24/7, so for organizations that are prepared to put their hand up to do that, I think they will get a good hearing from Queensland Health.
Good to speak with you Sue, thank you.
Ok thanks. Bye.
Sue Manton is the CEO of Little Haven Palliative Care Incorporated. It's a not-for-profit Community Based Palliative Care Service in the Gympie area
Little Haven CEO invited to join other Specialist Health Care providers as a witness at Public Hearings held in Caloundra on May 3rd. It was a great opportunity for Sue Manton and Alex Moore (Cittimani) to highlight the benefits of our hospice models of care in providing quality end of life care to our communities on the Sunshine Coast. Transcript of the mornings hearings available here
With the Queensland Parliamentary Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee is seeking views on aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying Little Haven CEO - Sue Manton, Clinical Coordinator Bronwyn McFarlane and Clinical Nurse Caroline Mandersloot took the opportunity to provide our insights and views into palliative care and the benefits Little Haven's model of Community based palliative care for Queenslanders.
Submission to the Inquiry into EOL Care 2019 - S Manton
Kelly King Reflective - People often ask us
QLD submission into Aged Care Palliative Care and VAD-B. McFarlane
For more information on the Inquiry or to view all submissions visit here
Little Haven was invited by Ben Phipps (Officer in Charge Cooroy QAS) to present at a forum in Cooroy to talk about interaction with paramedics in the setting of out of hospital palliative care. Little Haven had been involved in the care of Ben's paramedic partner and Ben was impressed by the level of community based palliative care and support provided to enable Leah to remain at home for her end of life cares.
It was a terrific evening with about eighty paramedics (80) in total attending with feedback from Ben saying "so many people commented on how much they learnt, and how much there is still to learn!"
Speakers on the evening discussed Advanced Care Planning, Managing Palliative Symptoms and avoiding unnecessary hospital transfers :
- Sue Manton and Amy Cadd - Little Haven Palliative Care
- Dr Louise Welch - SC Specialist Palliative Care Service
- Chief Superintendent Tony Hucker – QAS Director of Clinical Quality & Patient Safety
- Professor Bill Lord – University of the Sunshine Coast
After years of advocy and working with QLD Government Health Ministers and QHealth we where delighted that on Thursday the 14th of March 2019 Queensland Health Minister the Hon Dr Steven Miles MP publically announced a huge increase in funding for Little Haven over the next 4 years.
The announcement of $4m in State funding over the next 4 years follows a 14 month funding review by the Health Department. In addition to the announcement of the new funding what was especially pleasing was the public recognition of the value that the Queensland State Government now places on the Little Haven Community Based Paliative Care model.
This model would not exist today if it was not for the endless fundraising and support for our work by the Gympie Community over the past 40 years.
The funding announcement was front page news on the Gympie Times on Saturday the 16th March 2019. Click the image below to read the full details of the announcement.
Update May 27th 2019 : The Little Haven CEO and Chair signed off on this new service agreement with QHealth 2019 - 2023 with improved funding model from July 1st 2019.
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien today visited Little Haven to officially announce that he has secured $750,000 funding to be delivered as $250,000 annually over the next 3 years from the Federal Government for Little Haven.
This funding is the result of 2 years of continuous lobbying culminating in Llew O'Brien MP securing a a face to face meeting for Little Havens CEO Sue Manton with the Federal Health Minister, the Hon. Greg Hunt in December 2018. As a result of that meeting Little Haven was invited by the Minister to submit an application for relief funding from the Federal Government.
With Llew's advocacy our submission was approved, with the relief funding signed off on by the Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison. Below is the announcement being made in Minister Hunts office in Canberra.
Update: 3rd June 2019 - Little Haven awaits a written contract from The Federal Govt Department of Health for this promised funding.
This relief funding is a real morale boost for the Gympie community and Little Haven that currently needs to contribute in excess of $600,000 per year to care for those with a terminal illness and their families. This amount is increasing each year as demand for in the home based palliative care model that Little Haven has developed with the communities backing, just keeps growing, and is now out of reach for this albeit generous, low socio economic community to find.
Little Haven community sponsors and volunteers attended the announcement at Little Haven with Channel 7 Sunshine Coast news coverage providing a good snapshot of the morning.
This Federal Government relief funding has given our community some breathing space whilst we continue to lobby the Queensland Government to for a sustainable and equitable funding package.
With no information forth coming from the Policy Review team, having exhausted all avenues within QHealth and with the ringing of "there's no more funding for palliative care" in my ears, it was off to Canberra for a meeting with the Federal Health Minister Hon. Greg Hunt - arranged by our local federal MP Llew O'Brien. A meeting with the the Shadow Health Minister Catherine King was also arranged through Senator Murray Watts office. The messaging was simple
Does the current Federal Health department or the Labor Party wish to provide the leadership needed to implement the cost neutral recommendations of the Productivity Commission, thus improving access to home based care for all Australians with all the societal and political goodwill this will engender?
To quote Commissioner Stephen King in recent correspondence
“As the Productivity commission is generally known for being quite restrained in our recommendations. I think you can quite rightly point out that when a conservative economic body considers the shortage of end-of-life care to be a problem for both the economy and for society, it is time to take action.”
On the 9th October 2018, President Brandy Murley and CEO Sue Manton met with current Qld Health Minister Dr Steven Miles MP.
The meeting which was requested by Little Haven in May 2018 was held at the ministers Brisbane office to discuss the current Palliative Care Policy review progress and specifically get some answers to these issues;
- A response from the Minister regarding our funding review – as promised by Minister Dick and Nick Steele in previous meetings.
- The opportunity to discuss our concerns this policy review will hand all funding for Palliative Care solely to the HHS's
- Recognition of the benefits of this model of care for QHealth in providing end of life care options for all Queenslanders.
Ahead of our meeting we provided the following background information. Meeting Notes Minister Miles 9.10.18.
Also in attendance at the meeting was Ali King - Senior Policy Advisor, Nick Steel and Kathleen Forrester Qld Health -Healthcare Purchasing and System Performance Division
Little Haven was provided the opportunity to present our issue AGAIN - with the Departmental representatives stating the time frame for the review has been broadened and they were aiming for information to be released in December. Certainty of funding was guaranteed at current levels for five years. We shall now wait for the information from the policy review to be released in December.
Extract from CEO AGM Report; This week In writing my report I emailed Nick Steele, (Deputy Director General Qld Health) and David Harmer (Senior Director, Strategy Policy & Legislation Branch) reminding them “It’s now a year since we met with the then Qld Health Minister, Cameron Dick and 8 months since their visit to Little Haven.” And of both the Minister and their commitment given several times to fix our funding, and come back to us with a renewed funding arrangement by September.
For what it’s worth this is the update received at 10 am today … “The timeframe and scope of the review has broadened and they’re now aiming for December. Certainty of funding at current levels is clearly provided for until 2023, however they have no insight into whether this will be increased”. How very benevolent of them.
So what now. Be Indignant!!! If you hold any position of influence – Politicians, Journalists, Branch members keep asking the question - Why is Little Haven the poorest funded of the NGO’s receiving less than ½ the funding of our Sunshine Coast equivalent and ½ again of our Brisbane equivalent. And if they fob you off with inanities like – “they can’t fund Little Haven while others in the regions have no access to Palliative Care… Ask How so? When in the absence of services like ours patients are forced into the far more expensive and overburdened hospital system.
We know the value of our service and the only thing that threatens it is a health system that lacks foresight and leadership - that pays lip service to end of life care by commissioning enquirers while ignoring the recommendations. A regional health minister that visits the center, hears the story yet does nothing to right the inequity (to quote the Commissioner) for this very best of regional services.
Little Haven joined with all other NGO Specialist Palliative Care Service Providers at a QHealth funded workshop to add further input to the Palliative Policy Review.
After years of rehashing this dialogue with QHealth it's fair to say many in the room (members of the Hospice Services Network) felt a large degree of frustration at being told first up they were unsure of the implications to the review of the Premiers announcement last night of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Aged Care, Euthanasia and Palliative Care.
It remains to be seen if our insights shared along with our submissions to the review will be heard. The benefit of meetings like this is the open sharing of information between services, which only served to highlight how even among like minded services there is a great disparity of funding - Little Haven as the most regional provider is also the poorest funded.
All aspects of aged care, including palliative care and euthanasia, will be canvassed in a new Queensland government inquiry, the premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, has announced.
What will this mean for the current palliative care policy review and Little Haven? We'll have to wait until the Inquiry terms of reference are released, which is unlikely to happen until the current abortion bill is passed in parliament.
3 of the Little Haven "Family" spoke so beautifully at the Ignite Talk “Dying to Know” event held on the Sunshine Coast last night. Presentations were short, fast-paced talks to help grow the capacity of individuals and community groups to take action toward end of life planning.
Nurses Carolyn Mandersloot, Amy Cadd and Carolyn's daughter Indiana were wonderful representatives and advocates for Little Haven Palliative Care. Amy and Carolyn devote a lot of their time to community education and increasing understanding of issues of death and dying.
Lisa also collaborated with Gympie Women’s Health to develop a four week program entitled “Live, Love, Grieve” with guest speaker from Taylor Street Legal Service and Gympie Funerals. The workshop was well-received and will be repeated in the near future.
Committee President, Brandy Murley, Carers Advocate, Ray Currie, Clinical Coordinator, Bronwyn McFarlane and Business Manager Sue Manton left disheartened following the 2nd visit to Little Haven from the Queensland Department of Health.
Hoping for an announcement of our funding review, as previously promised, the visit instead was merely to seek ideas and further input to assist with the Department’s review of palliative care services. At a time when we thought the review should be nearing completion a very frustrated business manager noted how little progress had been made.
David Harmer (Senior Director, Strategic Policy & Legislation Branch) and Belinda Lewis (Policy Review Lead) admitted despite the Productivity Commission report being cited as a guiding document in the review neither had read the report. After a passionate discussion, Mr Harmer reaffirmed the earlier commitment made in September 2017 by the then Health Minister, The Hon. Cameron Dick to review & "fix" Little Haven's funding.
As part of the PHN Greater Choices at home program funding project officer Jo Pennell established an inter-agency steering committee to ensure local palliative care activities align with state and national end-of-life/palliative care strategies and standards.
The committee with representatives from all palliative care providers in the region met for the first time and will continue to work together with second monthly meetings planned.
We are heartened that Jo has engaged with Little Haven so enthusiastically- showing a lot of respect and interest for our model of care and plans to take a 'deep dive' in when she goes out on the road with our nurses later this month.
Little Haven was represented at the Good Life Good Death Expos held in Brisbane in December and Townsville on June 29th / 30th on "A Good Death is Not an Oxymoron".
Little Haven and our model of care are now well known in regional Qld and currently we are helping/advocating where possible for the Coen community in FNQ and a Townsville NGO as they seek to improve care at the end of life for people in their regions wishing to "remain on country".
The Townsville Expo funded by PCQ was the perfect opportunity to meet and continue discussions with representatives from these regions.
As a member of the Hospice Services Network Qld, Little Haven CEO Sue Manton spoke at the PCQ National Palliative Care Week Dinner on "What Matters Most".
The talk centred around Little Haven nurse Carolyn Mandasloot's account of the long weekend, providing support for a wife and teenage son as they cared for their husband and father. A beautiful story of courage in adversity, dignity in decision making and care and the comfort a strong spiritual belief can bring.
These are the stories of community based palliative care and they need to be told in the hope the Policy makers will Listen. Read Carolyns's story here. My-Weekend-22-May-2018
This was PCQ’s first parliamentary information session and with 25 MPs attending, chatting and posing for photos. We were told 3 MPs attending these events is quite common, and 15 would be great … so 25 was extremely exciting. A great way to start National Palliative Care Week.
It was lovely to see local member Tony Perrett among the attendees and I was very proud to hear him before I saw him (as you do with Tony) saying "We know all about Palliative Care in Gympie - We have Little Haven"
Sorry the spelling error was on the photo - not mine
In the lead up to National Palliative Care Week Little Haven CEO Sue Manton requested a face to face meeting with QLD Health Minister the Hon Dr Steven Miles.
The meeting request was to further discuss the current review of Palliative Care policy, community based palliative care and the recently released Productivity Commission Report into Human Services and End of Life Care.
See the information provided in support of the meeting request. Minister Steven Miles
We were advised a stand alone meeting would be arranged in the near future. (As an asisde - this didn't happen and a further request was made in October)
Llew O'Brien congratulates Gympie's Little Haven Palliative Care for Recognition in PC inquiry report
The high quality service that is delivered by Gympie’s Little Haven Palliative Care has been recognized in the Productivity Commission Inquiry report - Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Reforms to Human Services.
“For decades we’ve known Little Haven provides high quality care to people with terminal illness in the Gympie region,” Mr O'Brien said.
“It’s wonderful to see the Productivity Commission after an extensive review of end of life care across Australia has not only recognized the incredible value of the service, but made national adoption of community based Palliative Care their number 1 recommendation."
Read full Press Release Here
Very exciting day. The Final Report of the Productivity Commissions Human Services Review was publicly released today. The Commission's number 1 Recommendation for reforms to End-Of-Life Care is the roll out of Community Based Palliative Care across every jurisdiction in Australia.
Download the full End-Of-Life Inquiry report and recommendations here. There are 2 formats, PDF that will open in another tab or a Word Doc that will download to your computer.
Local Member Tony Perrett rose in State Parliament today and spoke, calling for funding certainty from the Labor Government to match community needs. We thank him for his ongoing advocacy on our behalf. Click the image below to read MP Perrett's Media Release
Meeting with Pattie Hudson PHN CEO, Brandy Murley and Sue Manton LHPC to discuss financial support for Little Haven. We were happy to receive a commitment for one off funding $112K for after hours support to be paid in 2 installments of $42,500 commencing in June and $27,900 upon successful implementation of PalCare Software (July). They also funded and recommended our board attend a one day workshop by SMS Marketing aimed to "improve the income generation of Little Haven staff", which we did in due course.
With the local PHN being one of the chosen 11 pilot sites for the Greater Choices at Home Palliative Care Measure, Little Haven is working collaboratively to improve access to community based palliative care for all in our region.
Hosted by the SCHHS Specialist Palliative Care Services all community palliative care providers were invited to present a 5 minute overview of their services and brainstorming service direction needs. Little Haven has a deed of standing order with the SCHHS for provision of community palliative care services however despite the majority of referrals coming from the HHS scripted funding is completely inadequate.
After consistent advocacy to our PHN (Central Qld Wide Bay Sunshine Coast) to work collaboratively with Little Haven to build capacity and sustainability of our service and seek input and clarity of how funds will be allocated if the PHN is successful in securing funding though the federally funded Greater Choices at Home Palliative Care measure-- CEO Sue Manton was invited by Pattie Hundson (PHN CEO) to a meeting at PHN office to discuss the implications for the region of this project funding. Also in attendance was Jane Campbell (PHN); Jo Pennel (PHN) and Cang Dang (SCHHS)
Little Haven CEO will continue pressure for equitable funding for our community based palliative care model and to ensure something useful comes of this additional $8.3 million funding boost and does not just become an exercise in scoping and resource production rather than increasing genuine palliative workforce capacity. More information on the Greater Choices at Home Palliative Care Project can be found here
Local Federal MP Llew O'Brien ahead of their meeting with The PHN brought newly elected Nationals Deputy Leader and Cabinet Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications, Bridget Mckenzie, to the Little Haven centre to meet the team, tour the facility and discuss funding.
Today the senior hierarchy of QLD Health visited Little Haven for the first time in living memory. Nick Steele - Dept Director General Health, David Harmer - Senior Director Strategic Policy and Planning and Anthony West - A/Senior Director Community Services Funding Branch, Healthcare Purchasing. They spent 3 hours meeting with the LHPC team and touring our facilities including our 2 Palliative Care rooms in the Gympie General Hospital.
They came bearing good news. Palliative Care Policy Review is now Queensland Health's number 1 priority! We have come a long way since Sue Manton met with the Community Funding Unit at their head office in Brisbane on the 16/12/2016, when she was informed that Palliative Care was not on Queensland Health's radar. They also confirmed the requested $100K funding has been approved to assist with Iso 9001 and NQSHS accreditation process and implementation of Patient Management Database system PalCare along with a promised review of the Little Haven contract and funding arrangement to be delivered by September 2018.
Little Haven's Business Manager Sue Manton has served on the Board of Palliative Care Queensland since 2014. At this years AGM she was elected as Secretary of the states Peak Palliative Care body. This is important as Sue has made it clear since joining that her priority with the State Council is the recognition, equitable funding and access to Community Based Palliative Care for every community in Queensland.
Very pleased to see the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMAQ) joining our call to all political parties for proper funding for Palliative Care in their 5 point Election manifesto, as reported in the Gympie Times Home care 'time bomb' warning - MDs join funds campaign 23rd November 2017.
AMA Queensland president Dr Bill Boyd said:
" Palliative care has been ignored for too long ..... As our population ages we will see huge increases in the number of elderly people requiring palliative care services.
If we're struggling now, how will we cope in five or 20 years? "
Today we appreciated a visit at Little Haven from Local MP Tony Perrett and Qld Shadow Minister for Health John-Paul Langbroek.
The Little Haven board is committed to advocating to all political parties for recognition of our demonstrated outstanding model of Community Based Palliative Care and for Government to fund it equitably and sustainably. We are also committed to advocating for this level of care to be available to every regional Queenslander.
This year this community is working to raise the $600,000 shortfall for our service due to inadequacy of Government funding at less than $300,000. Regional Queenslanders deserve better.
Watch the Video to see the election pledge from the LNP to immediately provide $300,000 in funding to little Haven with a full review our our funding. Fortunately Tony was re-elected as the local member, unfortunately the LNP was not so we go back to square one again lobbying the State Labor government who offered us nothing during the campaign.
Click the image below and it will take you to the Gympie Times site in a new window to watch the video
After first floating the idea in November 2016 with Palliative Care QLD today we held the Inaugural meeting of the Hospice Services Network Qld held in Brisbane.
Representatives from Little Haven, Cittimani, Karuna, Ipswich Hospice, Toowoomba Hospice, Hopewell Hospice and Hummingbird House attended. This meeting facilitated by Palliative Care Qld is an important milestone, because this group as community driven frontline Palliative Care Service providers have a wealth of knowledge to share.
Together we have a proud history of delivering compassionate care to 1000's of Queenslanders in our communities, whilst most of Australia is still talking about it. An opportunity to discuss our common goals and difficulties and work together on ensuring the sustainability of our services, because as it is said "A rising tide, lifts all boats"
Red Letter Day! Finally in Maryborough, Sue Manton LHPC Business Manager was sitting in a room face to face with Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick, QHealth Deputy Director General of Health Nick Steele and Scott Lisle, Acting Executive Director SC Hospital and Health Service.
"Unlike every other meeting with Qld Health I left with a sense of hope. The Minister was very complementary of our service and the work we do and acknowledged the funding issues and that it was his responsibility to fix it. Offering an assurance they would be back to us this year with a reviewed contract and funding agreement. Encouragingly he also said they are looking at Palliative Care service delivery policy. And now we wait." Sue said.
We submitted a detailed submission to present at Palliative Care Australia's national 'Connection with Communities' conference that was held in Adelaide over the 6th to 8th of September 2017.
Once again Little Haven's successful and working model of Community Based Palliative Care was not something that our Peak Body was interested in having presented at their conference.
Instead PCA accepted submissions by scholars who talk about connecting with communities rather than those who are actually doing it. They'd rather focus on compassionate community models coming out of the UK than the grass roots Hospice services with a long history of a working compassionate community model in regional Australia.
Why is that?????
In response to the letter received from Queensland Health Minister on the 23rd August 2018 LHPC Business manager Sue Manton submitted a detailed requested to meet with the Minister and/or the Premier in Maryborough whilst they were there for the upcoming Community Cabinet.
Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick wrote to Little Haven in response to the minister’s office having received 33 letters of support for Little Haven from 13 GP’s and 20 community members. In that letter the minister made the claim that funding for Little Haven was difficult as the Federal Government was drastically cutting funding of Palliative Care funding over the coming years.
In light of that Minister Dicks advised to the LHPC board was to:
“The board of Little Haven should reconsider its client admission / intake policy in recognition of its finite revenue.”
In other words only admit terminal patients who are in the last 3 months of their prognosis and cap the number of patients. For the LHPC board - this is just not acceptable or an option.
At request of the Productivity Commission LHPC Business Manager Sue Manton compiled and submitted LHPS's 3rd submission and significant documentation for their consideration in compiling their final report and recommendations, which is due for submission to the Minister in October with public release at sometime in the future.
Download our 3rd submission to the Productivity Commission here. It is in PDF Format
The Local branch of the Labor Party writes to QLD Health Minister Cameron Dick requesting a review of Little Haven’s funding.
Today in the House of Representatives I spoke about the important service Little Haven provides to people with terminal illnesses and chronic conditions, who require palliative care.
Palliative care services, like Little Haven, have long been neglected. It is essential we treat the dying with the respect and dignity they deserve. These people have built our communities, nursed us, and taught us, and we owe it to them and their families to support palliative care services.
Video of the speech is available on Llew O'Riens Facbook page - to watch click the image below - it will open the video on facebook in a new window.
Traveled to Melbourne to attend the Productivity Commission public hearings inquiry into Human Services Reforms. At the hearing we were allocated 30 minutes to address and answer questions from the Commissioners. It is heartening to have our Community Based Palliative Care model scrutinised by economists whose comments and questions included:
" there's a lot of magic in this very best localised service, and for what it's worth, something that we are struggling with is the difference between supporting the local where the magic exists and having a system where you don't - it's not determined by luck that you are dying in the place where there is a magic local service for that….. And you know, in my mind is, we're in Melbourne today. I'm off to a suburb in Melbourne. How do I make this work? “ Commissioner Sean Innis
Submitted or application for one off Queensland Department of Health funding for Quality Measures, Accreditation & Data management. LHPC had been invited to apply for one off project funding for quality management measures in the boards meeting with QHealth at Nabour in June .
This one off funding is important as it will enable Little Haven to gain full international accreditation and implement industry leading PallCare Software, as clearly defined in our strategic plan.
As reported in the Gympie Times article Grim view for Gympie cancer care funding 12 July 2017.
QHealth funds approximately one-third of Little Haven's expenses. The gap in Little Haven's 2016/17 financial year is about $500,000.
This has now become beyond the ability of a small community, albeit a very generous community. This year, Little Haven will post a deficit of $160,000.
"In contrast to assertions (by Health Minister Cameron Dick) in The Gympie Times, we were told there was no more palliative funding available for community care and they have no plans to redirect funding allocated elsewhere," Sue Manton said.
Federal QLD Labor Senator Claire Moore, who has a special interest in Palliative care, travelled to Gympie to meet with us to discuss and see first hand our Community Based Model of Palliative.
Our Federal Member Llew O'Brien brought federal Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie to Little haven to have a first hand look at our facilities and what a successful Community Based Palliative Care organization looks like.
President Brandy Murley, Clinical Coordinator Bronwyn McFarlane, Carer Advocate Ray Currie and I met at Nambour Hospital with QHealth Assistant Senior Director, Strategic Policy and Legislation, Branch Graham Kraak, Anthony West QHealth Community Funding Unit & Cang Dang SCHHS Service Director Community Integrated and Sub-Acute Services.
Whilst we were again told there was no additional long term funding, we were invited to apply for one off project funding for quality management measures. Whilst this will not solve our sustainable funding issues it is important as it will enable Little Haven to gain full international accreditation and implement industry leading PallCare Software, as clearly defined in our strategic plan.
Productivity Commission Draft Report released – To our delight Little Haven and our model of care was highlighted throughout the report. This was the start of our second submission with our comments and feedback on recommendations of the draft report.
Coinciding with National Palliative Care Week an on air Interview with Annie Gaffney ABC Sunshine Coast – offered again an important opportunity to publicly showcase our incredible model of community based care. Read more.
Listen to Interview
As per directive from Cameron Dick’s office we met with the SCHSD at Little Havens office. While Kevin Hegarty did not attend, he sent Kerrie Hayes –Executive Director of Clinical Services, Cang Dang- Service Director Community Integrated and Sub-Acute Services and Dr Louise Welch to basically tell us there was no more funding. Instead the message was clear – we should rationalise our admission numbers “close our books”.
Not satisfied with this, we requested they arrange a meeting with the Department of Health’s Strategic Policy Unit who set the funding agenda within the Department.
In the May budget the Federal Govt announced $8.3m in new money to Primary Health Networks for coordination of end of life care. We requested a meeting with The Director of the Wide Bay Primary Health Network (PHN) Pattie Hudson, to implore them to be one of the 10 pilot sites for this funding initiative.
Subsequently they have applied for this funding however we where then told this money under the funding guidelines was not for frontline services like Little Haven. Once again it appears there is no lack of money in Palliative care – there’s just no appetite to get it out to the grass roots front line service providers.
Armed with funding information from our phone conference Federal Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie MP phone conference we wrote to Qld Minister for Health Cameron Dick (read our letter and his response here) setting out our case and requesting a face to face meeting. At this point the minister refused to meet with us instead directing the SCHSD Executive Director Kevin Hegarty to meet with us on his behalf in a meeting scheduled for May 24th.
As a follow up to that meeting Our Local Federal Member Llew O'Brien orchestrated a Conference call with the Federal Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie MP. This was our first opportunity to put our case to the Federal Government who is ultimately responsible for Health funding. His response was the Federal Government provides the states with considerable funding for palliative care including funding for home based palliative care.
President Brandy Murley and I arranged a very productive first meeting at LHPC with Sharon and Llew O’Brien MP – Federal Member Wide Bay where we presented our issues, which has proven to be the beginning of a very productive working relationship with Llew championing Little Haven’s cause with the Federal Government.
Submitted Gympie Times Letter to the Editor in response to Gympie Times article Dealing With Death feature 3rd March which quoted -
“Health Minister Cameron Dick said each hospital and health service was best placed to determine how their share of the palliative care funding was spent.”
The GT letter and subsequent social media campaign galvanised the local GP’s and wider community to take up our fight for equitable and long term funding. To date the minister’s office has received 33 letters of support for Little Haven from 13 GP’s and 20 community members – All of which helped apply pressure to the Govt.
The Inaugural Glitz and Glamour fundraising event and the associated coverage by Seven News Sunshine Coast on Little Havens service and the very brave Bessie McClay. The Seven evening news story was turned into a video by Channel 7 and was viewed almost 22,000 times. Featuring what we do and our need for equitable funding from the State Government.
Thank you Jennifer and Bessie McClay for sharing your story. Families across the region are doing a beautiful job of looking after their loved ones during their end of life journey.
Little Haven's community based Palliative Care nursing service is there in the background currently supporting the needs and wishes of 78 patients and carers 24/7 to remain at home for as long as possible. Care in the right place at the right time.
Thank you 7 News Sunshine Coast for covering our story.
We had applied to be a presenter at the Compassionate Communities Symposium in Sydney coordinated by Palliative Care Australia. The stated goal of the symposium was
The Symposium will bring together community leaders from local government, not for profit organisations and community groups to develop ways to support people at the end of their lives.
Once again we where overlooked by our Palliative Care peak body who to-date have refused to even acknowledge that right here in our own country we have a Community Based Palliative Care model that is world standard.
Pushed for and got a meeting with QHealth Community Funding Unit Anthony West and Racheal Vowles at QHealth HQ in Brisbane. The community funding unit is responsible for the bulk of our Qld Health funding. Left the meeting furious and in tears as I was told
“increased funding for Palliative Care is not on the QHealth agenda".
Little Haven registers comminitybasedpalliativecare.org Domain name and Twitter handle @compalcare. Website built (Behind a construction wall for now)
The Productivity Commission’s Human Services Review Issue Papers released - prioritising end of life care as one of the six areas where outcomes could be improved both for people who use human services, and the community as a whole. Commenced work on our submission to highlight Little Haven’s Community Based Palliative Care model to this national inquiry.
As a board member of Palliative Care Qld, Sue Manton started discussions with the State Council to create a collaborative of the 7 NGO community driven models of Hospice Care who receive government funding from the Qld Health community funding unit.
Sue Manton's half hour Community Based Palliative Care in Regional Areas presentation was our first opportunity to showcase our long history of international standard community based Palliative care and call for equitable funding to our industry peers and decision makers.
View Full Presentation here Community Based Palliative Care
Meeting in Gympie with Dr Louise Welsh, Clinical Director, Specialist Palliative Care Service, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Healthcare Service to discuss Palliative care funding. Told there was no more funding and we were
"Lucky to get what we get".