$43 million commitment to the future of spinal injury care
New model of care supports individual choice and independent living options
Emphasis on improving quality of life
A $43 million capital investment in Western Australia's Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) service will modernise facilities and support individual choice and independent housing options for people living with spinal injury.
Health Minister John Day said the Liberal National Government commitment would see a new contemporary model for individuals who have suffered a SCI based on a co-ordinated whole-of-government program with care reconfigured to allow, where appropriate, people with spinal cord injury to live in their family homes or as close to home as they can.
"We want to enable them to live their lives to their full capacity and to have as much choice as possible," Mr Day said.
"The new model of care is about ensuring the best quality of life, through a community based approach in Shenton Park and across the metropolitan area.
"The funding includes construction of state-of-the-art, supported community housing on the Shenton Park Hospital redevelopment site for up to 30 individuals including the current long-term State Quadriplegic Centre (SQC) residents."
The centre began operations in 1969, with a 100-bed capacity. Only 46 beds are presently in use, with some facilities and equipment no longer suitable to meet contemporary care standards.
"All current residents will be able to remain in the new supported community accommodation if that is their wish, and we will work closely with them and their families on the detailed design process," Mr Day said.
"We know many residents want to relocate, through housing or care packages to help them return to their own homes, where they will be supported by a specialist multidisciplinary community outreach program."
Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said more than a dozen purpose-built homes would also be constructed in suburban locations.
"There will be 14 of these specialised houses to support those wanting to live within the broader community but unable to be accommodated in their family home," Mr Grylls said.
"Two of these will be designated for country people with spinal injury transitioning into community care."
Disability Services Minister Donna Faragher welcomed a new era for WA spinal injury care.
"By moving away from the outdated hospital model, it aims to give people with spinal cord injury the best options for resuming their normal social, work and family life," Mrs Faragher said.
The Department of Health will work with the Disability Services Commission, the Housing Authority and the Spine and Limb Foundation on the move to the new care model, with home construction and transition for residents expected to be completed in 2020.
The State Quadriplegic Centre has 29 permanent and 17 transitioning residents
An independent external review of WA's SCI services recommended a whole-of- government approach, enhanced care and clinical management through transitional care and services, and devolution of the SQC to community living arrangements
Health Minister's office - 6552 6200
Housing Minister's office - 6552 6100
Disability Services Minister's office - 6552 5300