Katie Rose Cottage.
Katie Rose Cottage. Geoff Potter

MP calls for Hospice to restructure rather than close

CALLS for a restructure to the Sunshine Hospice board have come as a former nurse manager reflects on his time there.

With the hospice board announcing this week it would be closing the facility better known as Katie Rose Cottage, Noosa MP Glen Elmes called on the board to restructure itself.

Mr Elmes wrote to the chair of the hospice, Dr Frank Lewins, imploring him to introduce a new business model and improve the board's expertise in government, to better enable it to secure State Government funding.

"With the hospice closed, I am also concerned that donations to the op shops may start to dwindle, which could place further pressure on the administration and funding of the Hospice," Mr Elmes said.

"It is an absolute necessity that a new comprehensive business model be established for Sunshine Hospice which includes the addition of solid community partnerships and more importantly, sound financial arrangements with the Queensland Government that up until this point in time has not happened.

"I have urged the board to use the Christmas break to establish a new business model which further incorporates the local community and most importantly, will provide the State Government with a business model it can fund with confidence."

Dr Lewins earlier this week was hopeful of being able to reopen the hospice in the future, announcing the closure despite the venue securing a last-minute bail-out grant in November, believed to have been about $100,000.

Dr Lewins said the decision to close had been made to ensure all staff were paid their entitlements and avoid any risk of the organisation trading while insolvent.

Former Sunshine Hospice nurse manager Gary Cox said he was hopeful he and his former colleagues could find work again quickly, but concerned about the future of the facility.

"The hospice is the people," Mr Cox said.

"I's an approach to care - it isn't the building.

"If you don't have the right people it's still just a building."

The vastly experienced palliative care nurse consulted in the UK before moving to Melbourne and then coming north almost four years ago to open the hospice.

"It (palliative care) can be really tough and hard... you've got to have the right people and you've got to spend money," he said.

"The present team of nurses were a fantastic group."

Mr Cox said one of the many challenges was trying not to become attached to patients - a difficult task that was often unavoidable in palliative care.

"You do get very involved with your patients in palliative care," he said.

Mr Cox was given a redundancy package from the hospice this week and said he believed all other permanent nursing staff had been paid out as well.

He said he would take stock for the next few weeks before looking to return to the workforce early next year.

"A few people have asked to catch up in the New Year... I'm not going to rush into anything," he said.