Dedicated Southern palliative care service, the JW Whittle Ward, has marked 30 years of serving the community from its current location.
The purpose-built JW Whittle palliative care unit is located at the Repatriation Hospital in Davey St, Hobart and was officially opened in October 1993. It is named in memory of Victoria Cross and Distinguished Conduct Medal recipient Sergeant John Woods Whittle, from Launceston, who was born in 1883 and served in the Boer War and World War 1.
The facility features beautiful gardens, opening patient windows and doors to the patio, single rooms for patients, visitor parking, and kitchen and shower facilities for visiting families.
Patients’ pets are welcome to visit, and the unit has hosted family weddings, graduations and barbecues, while musicians and artists are also welcome visitors to the ward.
The Rockliff Liberal Government is delivering what matters to Tasmanians, including by investing in a dedicated, multidisciplinary team of specialist. The Whittle Ward has nurses, specialist doctors, social workers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, music therapists and pastoral care, while hospice volunteers are also rostered daily.
Minister for Health, Guy Barnett, said the milestone served as an opportunity to reflect on the profound impact the unit has had on many Tasmanians and their families.
“The Whittle Ward is so much more than a building and its physical environment. It doesn’t have the normal feel of a hospital ward – instead, its gardens, kitchens and facilities combine to create a welcoming, homely environment,” Minister Barnett said.
“It has earned the respect of the community over many years and frequently receives positive feedback and generous donations from patients and families.
“The great reputation within the community is because of the dedication and commitment of the wonderful staff. I would like to acknowledge and thank them for caring for thousands of patients.
“In fact, in just the past 10 years alone, staff on the Whittle Ward have cared for almost 5000 patients and touched the lives of many more around them.
“We know the Whittle Ward is about quality of life – and quality of death – for people with life-limiting illnesses, and their loved ones.
“As the unit marks this significant milestone, I would again like to sincerely thank everyone who has played an important role in this vital service, which is there to support Tasmanians and their families in their time of need.”