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A home away from home for critically ill kids

9 December 2020 |Community
Bendigo Bank and the Royal Hobart Hospital partner to launch the new Bendigo Bank House Transition to Home Unit.

The Royal Hobart Hospital has today opened the Bendigo Bank House Transition to Home for Tasmanian paediatric patients and their families moving from an acute care setting to a more home-like environment, all while maintaining access to vital health services.

Bendigo Bank House Transition to Home is available free of charge to any family of a baby or child admitted to the Royal Hobart Hospital who no longer needs an acute care bed but still requires an extended stay in hospital.  Children will be able to be cared for by their parents or carers in home-like surroundings with the support of their multi-disciplinary health team until discharge.

Bendigo Bank and its Community Bank network have donated over $41,000 to cover furnishings, books, and artwork for the Bendigo Bank House Transition to Home unit. This includes books and artworks created by Tasmanian locals to help patients feel more at home.

Bendigo Bank House Transition to Home has three one-bedroom suites. Each contains a bathroom, while a shared living space includes facilities such as a laundry and kitchen. The unit will operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Sue McBeath, Nursing Direct of Woman's and Children's Services at the Royal Hobart Hospital said in addition to assisting with patient flow, Bendigo Bank House Transition to Home will provide a safe and supportive environment for parents to develop parent craft skills, confidence and independence prior to the discharge of their infants and children.

'The unit will allow families to stay close to one another while children are critically ill, which can be especially difficult for patients travelling from regional or remote areas," Ms McBeath said.

"Patients could include babies from the Neonatal Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, the Special Care Nursery, the Maternity Unit and children from the Children's and Adolescent Units," Ms McBeath said.

"Learning how to care for a child with complex needs and what community supports are available will be made easier in this warm and welcoming setting, operating under the guidance of expert clinicians," Ms McBeath said.

In 2018, Bendigo Bank partnered with Exemplar Health to provide a similar service adjacent to the Bendigo Hospital. In its first 12 months, Bendigo Bank House supported over 2,100 patients, carers and family members travelling to Bendigo for critical care.

Martyn Neville, Regional Manager at Bendigo Bank said the Bank was honoured to help support a similar service in Tasmania.

"Our branches from across Tasmania stepped up and readily contributed to this important unit. We know that being separated from loved ones, especially children, when they are critically ill is extremely difficult. We're proud to be helping keep families together during what can be a difficult time as they prepare to leave hospital and move back home," Mr Neville said.

"We understand that regional and remote families face added challenges when children are admitted to hospital in Hobart. Bendigo Bank House Transition to Home will alleviate both emotional and financial pressures many of these families face," Mr Neville said.

To date, Bendigo Bank's Community Bank network has invested $251 million in communities around Australia.

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