Hospice construction begins

Major construction works are set to begin next week on the Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice at North Head, Manly.

Confirmed as part of the redevelopment master plan for the former Manly Hospital site, the Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice (AYAH) will provide end-of-life care for young adults with life-limiting illness. Designs for the hospice were revealed in November 2020 and the groundbreaking ceremony for construction was held in May 2021.

Construction of the hospice is expected to cost $19.5m, which is being funded by an $8m contribution from the NSW Government, a $5m contribution from the Commonwealth Government, and a $5m donation from Manly philanthropists Mr Greg Poche and Mrs Kay van Norton Poche.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Member for Manly James Griffin visited the AYAH site to inspect progress ahead of the first major concrete pour.

“This incredible project is Australia’s first dedicated hospice caring for young people with life-limiting illness and will provide support to families from all over NSW.

“The facility will give young people and their families a tranquil, supportive environment at the most difficult of times by providing respite care, counselling, symptom management and end-of-life care,” said Mr Hazzard.

The Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice will work closely with nearby children’s hospice Bear Cottage to provide continuity of care for young people as they become adults. No dedicated facility currently exists for families who have young adults in need of hospice care.

“Each year, about a quarter of admissions to Bear Cottage are over the age of 16 and there has been no appropriate place for them to move to. No matter where someone is from in NSW, this beautiful state-of-the-art facility in Manly will be a welcoming place for young adults who are diagnosed with life-limiting conditions,” said Mr Griffin.

With over $6.5m raised for this project through generous community donations, the remainder is being funded by government. The operations of the new hospice will fall under NSW Health, with the NSW Government committing an additional $2m per year to provide the service.

The design of the new hospice is being influenced directly by clinicians with the assistance of feedback from families. When complete, the Northern Beaches will offer a full network of palliative care options, for adults at the new Palliative Care Unit at Mona Vale Hospital, the Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice at Manly for 15-24-year-olds, and Bear Cottage for children.

Construction of the new hospice is due for completion late 2022.

Credit: Northern Beaches Advocate
Image: NSW Health