Closure of St Joseph’s Hospital
St Vincent’s Health Care Australia says an “extremely difficult” decision to close St Joseph’s Hospital in western Sydney came after years of trying to secure a viable future for the historic site.
The Sisters of Charity established the hospital in 1886 originally in Parramatta for the treatment of consumption patients and today it is a 39-bed facility in Auburn providing in-patient and out-patient services in palliative care, rehabilitation, mental health and specialist care for Huntington Disease and MS patients.
Staff were informed of the decision to decommission the hospital in early July and the hospital is scheduled to close on 18 September.
Acting CEO of Palliative Care NSW Megan Asbury said that the organisation had not been made aware of the planned closure of St Joseph’s ahead of the public announcement.
However, Palliative Care NSW understood that without significant additional funding to support building work and repairs, St Joseph’s would no longer be able to provide high-quality palliative care.
“With planned expansions at Auburn and Westmead Hospital Palliative Care Units we are confident that the surrounding palliative care services in western Sydney will continue to provide this care to members of the St Joseph’s community,” Ms Asbury said.
“While the patient and family experience will differ in these settings, compared to the small St Joseph’s service, the level of care will be of the high quality that Western Sydney patients and families should expect.
“We hope in the future that such discussions engage meaningfully with all stakeholders to ensure staff, patients, families and the community as a whole can have confidence in how and where palliative care will be provided in their communities.”
St Vincent’s said the congregation of the Sisters of Charity were consulted about the decision to close St Joseph’s, along with the trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries.
“Both are saddened but are fully understanding of the decision.”
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Source: Catholic Weekly by Marilyn Rodrigues