WA Children's Hospice

Project.

The Foundation on the frontline

in-proud-partnership

“We are delighted to partner with the McGowan Government for this project. We believe the facility with all the care of a hospital and the feel of a home is long overdue and will add a wonderful legacy to the healthcare landscape for children and their families. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be involved with this project which will make a difference to so many lives for years to come and are eager to get started.”

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

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.

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 including a community garden. 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, playspace, gardens and 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.
childrens-hospice-project-concept
childrens-hospice-project-concept
childrens-hospice-project-concept
childrens-hospice-project-concept
Architects concepts by Hassell

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.

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  • Donate to the Children's Hospice Project

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Donation Total: $50.00

Give the ultimate gift to help WA’s sickest children and their families.

This is an ambitious project and we urge you to give your full support to this much needed and essential facility. Your generosity will directly benefit our sickest kids and their families for years to come in what is an incredibly difficult time in their lives.

Regular giving is one of the most effective ways you can support the children’s hospice.  Becoming a regular giver means you will be making a direct and ongoing impact to the sick kids of WA.

Regular giving is easy and flexible: each month your chosen amount is automatically debited from your credit card. You can increase, decrease or cancel your monthly donation at any time by contacting us.

We will send you a receipt every July for all your donations received in the previous financial year which you can then use for tax purposes.

Children's Hospice Project Progress (Indicative)

Media Release
Western Australia set to welcome first Children's Hospice
Read article
WA Today
WA's first children's hospice to care for terminally ill children
Read article
9 News Perth
Much needed help on the way for WA children suffering from life limiting illness
Watch Video
The West Australian
Sea views for kids' hospice
Read article
Perth Now
'Worst nightmare': Grieving Perth parents' hospice plea
Read article
Perth Now
Perth mum shares hospice hope for her little 'warrior'
Read article
Perth Now
Swanbourne hospice plan a ‘game-changer’ for Perth families
Read article
Media Release
Iconic Perth Kids’ Bridge taking shape over Winthrop Avenue
Read article
Perth Now
WA children’s hospice: Port Kennedy family’s hope for teen’s health battle
Read article
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Please direct any media inquiries to:

Caroline Webb
Chief Operating Officer
Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation
08 6456 5546
caroline.webb@pchf.org.au

Cait Woodward
Communications Manager
Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS)
08 6456 3278
cait.woodward@health.wa.gov.au

Children's Hospice Project FAQs

A paediatric hospice (children’s hospice) is dedicated to caring for children aged birth to 18 years and their families living with life-limiting conditions and requiring palliative care. Palliative care for children can be an aspect of their life for a short time or in many cases, over many years. It is important that there is a place for children to be able to receive respite care, symptom management care as well as end of life care.

A children’s hospice provides paediatric palliative care 24 hours a day during a child’s stay. Paediatric palliative care enables the baby, child or young person to live in an environment where curative treatment can be part of their life, but not their entire focus. It aims to provide the best quality of life through a holistic approach which supports the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the child and their family.

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 a 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 families of children diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. 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 23 million people, there are only three such centres whereas in the United Kingdom, with a population of almost 66 million, there are now over 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 illnesses 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.

It is intended that the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (the Foundation) provides funding for the construction, fit-out and ongoing non-operational costs for the hospice. CAHS will be responsible for securing a suitable land holding, providing ongoing clinical funding, governance and overall 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 operation and maintenance.

The Foundation is funding 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 early 2024.

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’s CEO, Carrick Robinson on 6456 5547.

For all other enquiries please contact the Child and Adolescent Health Service via email on CAHSInfrastructure@health.wa.gov.au.

What type of care will the children’s hospice provide?

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, including:

  • Care for children who have a life limiting diagnosis with little prospect of improvement and who require 24/7 care. The children’s hospice will assume care of these children for a period of time allowing children 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 life limited children. Families often require physical and psychological care in a supportive environment
  • Outreach and family support
  • Dedicated State-wide bereavement service for families following the death of a child.
  • The children’s hospice will also provide services including physiotherapy and massage, as well as specialised therapy such as music and play therapy.

The children’s hospice will be modelled on other Australian children’s hospice’s as a home away from home environment; close to the beach with a community garden. 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, playspace, gardens and seating, car parking, and office and administrative spaces.

Concept designs are currently being prepared by architects and will be shared when they are complete.

It is envisaged that the children’s hospice will open with five beds available for children with life limiting illnesses and will increase to all 7 beds depending on the requirements of families. In addition there will be three family suites on the site.

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 non-clinical support.

The children’s hospice has been designed based on current and anticipated future needs. There is flexibility for minor changes, however, we would not expect any increase to the size of the building.

The children’s hospice site is 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.

Site selection criteria was established to determine the children’s hospice site.

  • Convenient to the Perth Children’s Hospital, but not on the campus. Central to the metropolitan region, optimising accessibility.
  • Approximately half a hectare in area.
  • Suitable for the construction of a new, purpose-built building without an ‘institutional’ feel.
  • Located in an essentially residential area but with opportunity for separate access for visitors and services.
  • Convenient to local amenities such as a coffee shop, corner store or park, enabling community interaction.
  • Located in a natural setting preferably close to the water, providing a serene, leafy environment and opportunities for walks and/or nature play.
  • Government owned and available, in terms of tenure, in the short-term.

The former Swanbourne Bowling Club site in Odern Crescent has been identified as the preferred site due to its location near the water and Perth Children’s Hospital, size, the absence of existing structures, residential context, proximity to local amenities, its natural setting, high amenity and the relative simplicity of the tenure arrangements.

Based on the current concept, the building footprint is approximately 2,200m2 (plus landscaped gardens, driveway and proposed playground).

The proposed site area for the children’s hospice is 5,000m2. Outside this, there will also be a significant area for community gardens between the hospice and the Bridge Club.

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.

In addition, a Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) has been established as a forum for relevant and interested parties to be involved in the hospice project within a defined Terms of Reference.
The SRG is comprised of selected members across different groups, such as clinical groups, community groups, neighbouring sport facilities and parents with personal experiences of children with life-limiting illness.

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

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.

At a Stakeholder Reference Group meeting, the Palliative Care clinical team and parents who have experienced the loss of a child, commented that the location may be of benefit to children staying at the hospice due to relationships that will be established with the surrounding neighbours, including the Special Air Service Regiment based at Campbell Barracks. The proximity to the Barracks will provide the children with an opportunity to see aircraft heading in and out of the Barracks and provide a welcome distraction but will not impact the comfort or security that the hospice will provide.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) is responsible for regulating contaminated sites under the Contaminated Sites Act 2003. The two sites at Allen Park were classified as “possibly contaminated – investigation required” in 2008. CAHS engaged a consultant to undertake an environmental assessment which has reported there are no significant contamination issues. The report was assessed by DWER and the Department of Health which have confirmed that the site can be reassessed as ‘de- contaminated’ subject to the development of a Construction Management Plan which takes into account unexpected finds on the site.

It is the experience of other hospices that ambulance activity is infrequent and is restricted largely to transportation of children and families (if required). It is extremely rare for an ambulance with full 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 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).

A community garden of approximately 0.3ha (3000m2) will also be implemented.

Technical specialist consultants will be engaged throughout the design and approval stage to minimise impacts to the surrounding Allen Park.

The building will also be sensitively designed to ensure the building integrates with the surrounding open space.

Construction and fit out is estimated to commence in early 2022 with completion by mid 2024.

The children’s hospice will not compromise the privacy of neighboring 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.

Site will be secured during construction with appropriate surveillance and security measures will be adopted to ensure safety of workers and community.

You can donate a sum of money towards the children’s hospice or a gift in your will via the children’s hospice homepage pchf.org.au/childrenshopice. Alternatively, you can contact our CEO, Carrick Robinson on: (08) 6456 5547 to discuss your donation.

Volunteering opportunities in the children’s hospice will be released closer to opening and will thereafter be advertised on an on-going basis.

Employment opportunities in the children’s hospice will be released closer to opening and will thereafter be advertised on an on-going basis.

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. We are aware that not all families who have a child with a life limiting illness will choose to receive care from the hospice.

A children’s hospice will provide care in a number of ways including symptom assessment and treatment, provision of respite care as well as care at the end of life. This care would occur within the hospice building. The majority of children live well at home with their families for most of their life, however, children’s hospices are also a vital part of providing support to siblings, parents, carers and grandparents. This support is provided by a small team of staff based at the hospice but the work often happens via Telehealth and in the family home or community. Many of our patients may receive therapy and counselling at the hospice, but won’t always need an overnight stay.

The hospice will have seven rooms and three family suites so at the most, we could have up to 20 people staying overnight at one time. In terms of staff and volunteers, we could have up to 30 people 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

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