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WA's first Children's Hospice.

The Foundation on the frontline

About the Project

In proud partnership with the Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS), we are pleased to announce Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation will be funding a brand new children’s hospice in Perth, WA. The WA children’s hospice will provide all the care of a hospital with the feel of a home for these children and their families – giving them much needed respite and care in what is an incredibly difficult time in their lives.

There is a well-known gap in the provision of children’s respite and end of life service in WA.  Although a child might receive a diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, their journey could span weeks, months or even years. This can have a constant and sustained emotional, economic and psychological impact on families, placing unimaginable stress on them and their well being.

Right now WA does not have a dedicated children’s hospice facility, but with your support we can turn the vision we have into a reality to help fund this once in a lifetime facility for WA’s sickest children and their families.

We are so excited to take you on this journey in proud partnership with Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) and provide a safe space for these children and their families. To keep up to date, follow along on our social channels.

“It’s a proud moment in Western Australia’s history as we officially begin construction on the state’s first-ever children’s hospice in 2024. Sandcastles will touch the lives of countless sick WA kids and their families, with services to help improve their quality of life as they continue to persevere through life-limiting conditions. We are eternally grateful to our generous donors and supporters, including the Western Australian public.” 

Hon. Ian Campbell, Chairman Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation

Children's Hospice Project Design

The design of the hospice will be modelled on learnings from other Australian and international hospices which have a homelike environment with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It will be built close to the beach on natural, sustainable principles and have an abundance of natural light to provide a sense of connectedness to nature and outdoor spaces. It will be a 7-bed facility with some adjoining family rooms. Other features will include a main kitchen, dining and living space, playrooms, a physical treatment area inclusive of hydrotherapy pool, clinical spaces, outdoor living, play space, seating, car parking, and office and administrative spaces.

The hospice will provide services in key areas:

  • Care for children who have a life limiting diagnosis with little prospect of being well and who require 24/7 care. The hospice will assume care of these children for a period of time allowing their families much needed respite.
  • End of life care for children with the safety net of clinical care in the comfort of a highly respectful and supported environment.
  • Support for the families of life limited children.
  • State-wide bereavement service for families following the death of a child.
WA Children's Hospice
WA Children's Hospice
WA Children's Hospice
Perth Childrens Hospital Hospice Courtyard Render

Meet Our Ambassador Families

There are approximately 2,000 children with life-limiting conditions in WA and for each of those children, there are numerous family members including parents, siblings and extended family who will be affected in their own lives. Meet some of these incredible families below who have shared their stories with us and hear how much a dedicated hospice facility would mean to them here in WA.

Value in Kind Donation Program

Following the announcement of support from the Federal Government of $7.5 million towards the WA Children’s Hospice we are excited to welcome the WA business community’s value as part of the Value in Kind Donation Program.

Support from organisations in Western Australia for this much-needed service, the first of its kind in Western Australia is vital.

Register your interest in this program by clicking on the button below.

The impact of the WA children's hospice

Children's Hospice Project Progress (Indicative)

Please direct any media inquiries to:

Carrick Robinson
Chief Executive Officer
Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation
08 6456 5547

Sam Mills
Media and Content Manager
Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation
0411 241 475


Children's Hospice Project FAQs

A children’s hospice provides respite, support and care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families to help them make the most of life while they face emotional and physical challenges associated with their illness. Paediatric palliative care provided from a hospice supports the child and their family from the time of diagnosis throughout the course of their life, including end-of-life and bereavement care.

A children’s hospice aims to provide the best quality of life through a holistic approach which supports the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the child and their family. Care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of specialist staff, working together to ensure seamless support to the entire family including siblings and grandparents.

A children’s hospice delivers care in a child and family-friendly purpose-built building and offers a wide range of support, including:

  • practical help, advice and information
  • symptom management
  • specialist short break care
  • specialist therapies, including play, art, music and hydrotherapy
  • psychosocial support
  • end-of-life care
  • bereavement support
  • support camps and groups for family members
  • outreach and family support to rural and regional areas

Children’s hospices add value to care in a number of ways: symptom assessment and treatment, provision of respite care, and supportive work with siblings, parents and grandparents. Furthermore, some children and families will choose a hospice as the preferred place for end of life care. Following the death of a child, bereavement care for families is an essential part of service provision.

There is a widely acknowledged gap in the provision of children’s respite and end of life services in Western Australia. Although a child might receive a diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, their journey could span weeks, months or even years. This often results in great stress on families for a sustained period of time and impacts their resources, relationships and well-being.
Three similar services exist on the east coast, providing an extensive range of services for children diagnosed with life-limiting conditions and their families. They are Bear Cottage in NSW, Very Special Kids in Victoria and Hummingbird House in Queensland. Currently nothing of this nature exists in WA.

Internationally, the children’s hospice model is recognised as a successful approach to care for children and families with life-limiting conditions. With Australia’s population of 26 million people, there are only three such centres whereas in the United Kingdom, with a population of almost 66 million, there are now more than 40 similar centres for children.

Western Australia does not have a dedicated paediatric hospice facility. Currently, children with palliative care needs are provided services by the WA Paediatric Palliative Care Service based at Perth Children’s Hospital. Although this service provides advice, support and liaison for children and families, there are only two options for place of care for children with life-limiting conditions: at home or in hospital. Currently families who do not want their child to die at home can only be supported in hospital. There is also no palliative out of home respite care for children in WA.

The Children’s Hospice Project Team is comprised of the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF), the Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS), Hassell and Hesperia.

The Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (the Foundation) will provide funding for the construction, fit-out and ongoing non-clinical support services for the Hospice. CAHS will be responsible for securing a suitable land holding, providing ongoing clinical funding, governance, and overall clinical management of the Children’s Hospice.

The Foundation is funding construction and fit-out of the children’s hospice.

CAHS is funding ongoing clinical operational costs of the Children’s Hospice. CAHS will also fund all costs relating to the facility’s clinical operation and maintenance.

The Foundation will fund ongoing non-clinical support services. Examples of this might include entertainment, family activities and food and beverages.

It is anticipated the Children’s Hospice will open in early 2025.

If you would like to show your support for the Hospice through a donation you can go to the Foundation website pchf.org.au and make a donation or call the Foundation on (08) 6456 5550.

For all project enquiries please contact Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation via (08) 6456 5550 or on info@pchf.org.au

The Children’s Hospice will provide:

  • care for children who have a life-limiting diagnosis and who require 24/7 care. The Children’s Hospice will assume care of these children for a period of time allowing them to have a break from everyday routines and their families much needed respite
  • expert symptom assessment and management
  • end of life care for children with the safety net of clinical care in the comfort of a highly respectful and supported environment
  • support for the families of children with life-limiting conditions. Families often require physical and psychological care in a supportive environment
  • outreach and family support to rural and regional areas
  • dedicated state-wide bereavement service for families following the death of a child
  • services including physiotherapy, massage, occupational therapy, and specialised therapy such as music, play therapy and hydrotherapy.

The Children’s Hospice will be modelled on other Australian children’s hospices as a home away from home environment. It will be a seven-bed facility with an additional three family accommodation suites.

Other features will include a main kitchen, dining and living space, playrooms, multisensory room, a physical treatment area inclusive of hydrotherapy pool, clinical spaces, outdoor living, play space, gardens and seating, car parking, and Hospice staff administration spaces.

The Children’s Hospice will have seven beds available for children with life-limiting illnesses along with three family suites and areas for different therapeutic activities to support the children and family members. The overall Hospice site will cover 5000m2.

The Child and Adolescent Health Service will operate the Hospice. Families will be supported by a team of clinical staff caring for the children and their families as well as staff and volunteers on-site to provide services such as food and drink, grounds management and cleaning and logistics. Ongoing non-clinical support services costs for the hospice will be funded by the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The Children’s Hospice has been designed to accommodate current and anticipated future needs. Plans for the hospice have been based on demand and the experience of other hospices so while there is flexibility for minor changes, we would not expect any increase to the size of the building.

The Children’s Hospice site will be located within Allen Park situated at Odern Crescent Swanbourne. The site is the former Swanbourne Bowling Club, immediately to the north of the current WA Bridge Club.

The site selection criteria for the Children’s Hospice site came from reviews of existing paediatric hospice locations nationally and internationally. The site selection scope specified a natural setting preferably close to the water, with a serene leafy environment and opportunities for walks and or nature play, supporting the best quality of life through a holistic palliative care approach and promoting the physical, emotional, social and spiritual support of the child and their family.

The site had to support a new, purpose-built facility with available land tenure. A number of sites were reviewed and assessed. The vacant site of the former Swanbourne Bowling Club in Allen Park met more of the criteria than other sites and was chosen as the preferred option.

Based on the current concept, the building footprint is approximately 2,000m2 (plus landscaped gardens, driveway and proposed playground).

The proposed site area for the Children’s Hospice is 5,000m2. The building will occupy less than half the site at approximately 2,000m2. The remainder of the site will be Hospice gardens, outdoor areas and parking.

There was a formal opportunity for the community to provide feedback on the proposal as part of a stakeholder consultation undertaken in respect of the Management Order amendment (creating the hospice site) for the Children’s Hospice itself.

The Management Order was advertised in the West Australian newspaper on Tuesday 8 September 2020 as well as in Community newspapers. As part of this consultation process respondents had 30 days to submit their response.

A Development Application submitted to the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU) for the project providing a formal opportunity for the community to make submissions was advertised in The Post newspaper on 29 April 2022 and online by the SDAU. That submission period concluded on 27 May 2022.

The Development Application is being assessed, taking into account public submissions, with final approval expected from the Western Australian Planning Commission in early 2023.

In addition, a Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) was established in December 2020 as a forum for relevant and interested parties to be involved in the hospice project within a defined Terms of Reference.

The SRG consists of members with relevant medical expertise, relevant personal experience and/or a proximity interest. There are a number of ex-officio members and others have been selected from a pool of responses received following an Expressions of Interest process. This was advertised in the local Post newspaper, The West Australian and The Sunday Times, as well as online on the social media pages of CAHS, the Foundation and CLE Town Planning + Design.

There will be opportunities for the community to support the Hospice through donations, both monetary and gifts. There will also be opportunities to volunteer at the Children’s Hospice once it opens.

There will be opportunities to support the Hospice through donations, both monetary and gifts. Visit the Children’s Hospice homepage pchf.org.au/childrens-hospice-project/ or contact the Foundation on 6456 5550 to discuss your donation.

The budgeted cost for the complete build and fit-out of the Hospice is currently estimated at around $30 million.

$25 million has been raised to date, and we are currently on track to raise all funds needed for the build and fit-out of the Children’s Hospice. However, PCHF is still in need a strong show of support from the WA community during this year’s Christmas Appeal – every dollar donated will go a long way in helping us to reach our fundraising goal.

In addition to securing funding for the initial construction and fit-out of the Children’s Hospice, PCHF will also fund ongoing ‘non-clinical’ support for kids and families staying at the Hospice. This includes providing positive experiences such as entertainment, fun family activities and food and beverages that will make every stay memorable and special.

A Traffic Management Plan will be implemented for the Children’s Hospice to ensure safety and efficiency of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Appropriate signage will be adopted, and the Hospice will have a designated parking. Due to the small scale of the Children’s Hospice, the traffic impacts are expected to be minimal.

Due to the small scale and discrete location of the Children’s Hospice, the noise impacts are expected to be minimal. Best practices and standard guidelines will be adopted to ensure minimal to no impact on the surrounding area.

The building will incorporate design and engineering solutions to minimise noise.

It is the experience of other hospices that ambulance activity is infrequent. It is extremely rare for an ambulance with sirens to attend a hospice.

Technical specialist consultants will be engaged in the design of the Children’s Hospice to ensure best practices are adopted during construction and ongoing operations.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is responsible for regulating contaminated sites under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003. The land titles constituting Allen Park were classified as “possibly contaminated – investigation required” in 2008 due to the historical use of the land now occupied by Swanbourne Oval to the west as a municipal waste disposal site.

CAHS engaged a consultant to undertake an environmental assessment which has reported there is no indication that the Hospice site was ever used for waste disposal. Accordingly, the site has been declassified by DWER and the Department of Health under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003 and the memorial on the Hospice land title has been withdrawn.

Any unexpected finds on the Hospice site during the construction phase will be addressed through a Construction Environmental Management Plan to be prepared before the building permit is issued.

The proposed Children’s Hospice site is currently a vacant site. The site area is approximately 0.5ha (5,000m2) and represents a very small component (2.1%) of the Master Plan area, which covers approximately 24ha (excluding the foreshore area). The Hospice will be self-contained on its site. Existing walking trails (formal and informal) will be unaffected and management of the surrounding area (e.g. mowing, landscaping and weeding) by the City of Nedlands will continue. Visually, the advertised development application package illustrates that the Hospice building has been sensitively designed so as to be unobtrusive in the landscape and set in landscaped gardens.

The Children’s Hospice will not compromise the privacy of neighbouring households. It is a low scale facility in a discrete location, removed from neighbouring households.

Due to the small scale of the project, the impacts on the surrounding area during construction are expected to be minimal. However, best practices will be implemented to reduce potential inconvenience and risks to community, workers and bypassing vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Ongoing stakeholder consultation will be undertaken to account for interests and concerns in relation to the project.

The site will be secured during construction with appropriate surveillance, and security measures will be adopted to ensure the safety of workers and the community.

The site is in a ‘bushfire prone area’ designated by the Office of Bushfire Risk Management in 2019. It is worth noting that many residential areas in greater urban Perth are also rated as ‘bushfire prone’ and being within a ‘bushfire prone area’ simply triggers the application of the relevant State bushfire policies, guidelines and standards to planning decision making.

Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation engaged bushfire consultants to review the proposed site in relation to the Allen Park bushland and produce a Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) to manage and mitigate risks in accordance with the relevant State bushfire policies, guidelines and policies.

The aim of the BMP is to assess bushfire hazards within the site and nearby areas and ensure that threats posed by any identified hazards can be appropriately mitigated and managed. It further provides an assessment of the general bushfire management strategies to be considered as part of the future development within the site.

Yes. The BMP evaluated nearby vegetation as low threat based on existing and continuing City of Nedlands maintenance. The park contains varied areas of vegetation — approximately 55 per cent of the park is remnant coastal scrub but the remainder is grassed sports ovals and recreation areas, existing buildings such as the adjacent WA Bridge Club and Associates Rugby Club and parking.

The BMP includes a Bushfire Emergency Evacuation Plan (BEEP). The plan considered the likely vulnerable nature of many of the occupants. It outlines key emergency features; the functions, roles and responsibilities of staff; ongoing education and training; and evacuation procedures. The plan identifies sheltering in the facility as the preferred bushfire emergency response, since the building meets the required bushfire safety rating. This does not require any form of “bunker”.

No. Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) will inspect design and construction plans, the Bushfire Management Plan and Bushfire Emergency Evacuation Plan and provide comment to the SDAU which is ultimately responsible for the Development Approval.

No. DFES is an important referral agency and have provided their initial comment, in parallel with the advertising period, on the BMP and BEEP.

No. As we would expect for projects of this type, DFES has requested clarification and made recommendations for refinement that are currently being addressed. We will continue to work with DFES and develop the BMP and BEEP until they are considered to meet bushfire safety standards for the site including access, the building, and its occupants. No substantial redesign will be necessary before the development is compliant.

Volunteering opportunities in the Children’s Hospice will be released closer to opening and will then be advertised on an ongoing basis.

Employment opportunities in the Children’s Hospice will be released closer to opening and will then be advertised on an ongoing basis.

The majority of children live well at home with their families for most of their life and do not often require the services of the palliative care team.

The Children’s Hospice has been designed based on current and anticipated future needs. We have undertaken extensive research with other children’s hospices across Australia and internationally and have based the number of beds in the Hospice on their advice and experience.

Families will be able to access support from the palliative care and hospice services throughout the year, including periods of respite in the hospice itself and symptom management and end-of-life care when required.

A Children’s Hospice will provide care in a number of ways including symptom assessment and treatment, respite care and end of life care. Children’s hospices are also a vital part of providing support to siblings, parents, carers and grandparents. This ongoing support and care is provided by a small team of staff based at the Hospice, via Telehealth and in the family home or community, in between visits and stays at the Hospice.

The Hospice will have seven rooms and three family suites so there would be up to 20 people staying overnight at any one time. In terms of staff and volunteers, approximately 30 people would be onsite at a time.

We would expect that staff will use a variety of transport options to travel to the Hospice and will work different shift patterns. We anticipate that there will not be a great deal of traffic flow in and out of the Hospice.

Construction and fit out is estimated to commence in mid-2023 with completion in 2025.

A project of this size involving many stakeholders can sometimes take longer than anticipated.

Factors including land tenure, procurement processes and COVID-19 have caused some delays. We are making sure that we take the time to ensure the Hospice design and clinical services meet the needs of children and families into the future.

Before we can begin construction, the Children’s Hospice design needs to be approved by the State Development Assessment Unit (SDAU). Currently the SDAU approval is progressing without any significant issues. We expect to be able to share an update on the Hospice’s construction timeline by early 2023.

We are on track to meet construction timeline estimates of approximately 18 months, despite the effects of external market conditions, including COVID-19 related issues.

We expect to have a more detailed timeline for the Hospice’s construction by early 2023, with site services and infrastructure works forecast in the first half of 2023, and main construction to follow. The opening date of the Children’s Hospice is anticipated to be in 2025.

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