Katie Rose to start palliative home care

Katie Rose Cottage Hospice extension plans.

Jim Fagan

Katie Rose Cottage Hospice will introduce a home palliative care outreach service on July 1 next year.

It will operate on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast and service people from Peregian, Coolum, Noosa and Eumundi — in fact, the whole northern end of the Sunshine Coast.

Chief executive officer John Gabrielson said the hospice was working with Queensland Health to provide the service which would initially look after 10 people a day who needed end of life care.

“We will have two nurses on the road and they will make five visits per shift. The hospice works 24/7 and, if help is needed during the night, we have the capacity to answer the call,” Mr Gabrielson said.

“Gratton Institute research shows 75 per cent of Australians want to die at home but only 14 per cent achieve this. The others spend their final weeks in hospital. The alternative to home is a less medicalised, more personal setting like Katie Rose which provides its services at no charge,” he said.

“This move to palliative home care is a significant undertaking. We have to recruit nurses, supply vehicles, mobile IT, software as well as clinical care kits that go into the vehicles.

“The most exciting thing about this about for me is that you will have nurses who are practised in the ethos of Katie Rose care out there in the community. “

Katie Rose is celebrating its fifth birthday this month.

The company was started by volunteers led by the present chairperson, Carol Raye, in November 2016.

The purchase of the house and three acres at Beddington Road, Doonan the following year was made possible by Noosa retirees Peter and Marilyn Williams in Noosa 2016 who created the Warm Handshake Foundation to give the hospice $1 million.

Mr Gabrielson said it was not generally known that Katie Rose operated as a day hospice for more than a year from October 2017, before going to full time care in August 2018.

“Since that time 208 guests have spent their last days with us.”

He said there was most often a wait list.

“We propose to submit plans to Noosa Council in the near future to reduce this by adding two more rooms. This will make five in all, each consisting of a master bedroom with en suite and adjoining guest accommodation with the emphasis being on providing a warm, welcoming, homely and comforting environment.

“We have an ageing population and with the additional rooms and our home palliative care outreach service we will have a greater capability to serve the community, he said.