2022 - Year in Review

Adolescent and young adult hospice nearing completion

Artist’s impression of the AYAH

Jamieson Leeson

Australia’s first dedicated adolescent and young adult hospice (AYAH) is scheduled to open in February 2023 and will offer respite care, symptom management and end-of-life care for patients aged 15-24 years with life-limiting illness.

NSLHD Interim Chief Executive Lee Gregory said the AYAH will deliver specialised care tailored to young people and their unique needs, and provide dedicated and professional support for families. “It will be wonderful to be able to welcome patients and families in a few months’ time,” he said. Lee said the project team worked closely with children’s hospice Bear Cottage throughout the planning and construction process, with input into the design of the facility, the arts strategy, recruitment and appropriate furniture, fittings and equipment. Nineteen-year-old Jamieson Leeson was delighted when she was asked to be part of the interview panel to recruit the

nurse unit manager and clinical nurse specialist for the AYAH. As a former patient of Bear Cottage Jamieson said she knew just how important the care and respite services to be provided at the AYAH would be for people like herself with life-limiting conditions. Jamieson, who is a paralympian boccia player and studying a bachelor of economics at UNSW Sydney, said being a teenager or a young adult can be a very tricky time in life. “It will be so great for other people like me to have a place like this to meet others and be supported with their illness,” Jamieson said.

“It is very important for young people needing hospice care, but also for those in situations like me that have grown out of Bear Cottage and need respite care where they can spend time with their family.” Jamieson said sitting on the interview panel for the new AYAH team provided a great opportunity for someone with a lived experience to have influence on how this great facility comes together. “I was looking for someone that was very knowledgeable and experienced in the palliative care industry, had great management skills and most importantly had passion for such an important role,” she said. The hospice is expected to open to patients in February 2023.

37 NSLHD 2022 Year in Review

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