Royal North Shore Hospital opens new patient and carer accommodation

05 October, 2015

Vulnerable patients and carers travelling far from home for medical treatment at Royal North Shore Hospital can now access new on-site accommodation.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner visited the accommodation service this week and met patients and carers benefitting from the modern and convenient facilities.

"Since opening a month ago, the service has supported 37 families during their time at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH)," Skinner said.

The purpose built facility - on the hospital grounds within the Douglas Building - will provide more accommodation options after the withdrawal of nearby Blue Gum Lodge last year.

The new comfortable and secure facility features 18 spacious rooms, including individual bathrooms and a mix of one and two beds, with kitchenette facilities, lounge, dining and common areas to support carers.

The short-term accommodation service will support rural and regional patients travelling long distances to access specialist medical care, including some cancer services, only available at RNSH.

RNSH is a state-wide referral service for severe burns injuries, neonatal intensive care, spinal cord injury, trauma and interventional neuroradiology. Skinner said priority for the new accommodation would be given to regional patients and carers, with particular emphasis on those experiencing a medical crisis.

"A family member from a regional area may have nowhere to stay while their loved one receives treatment - this new accommodation on the hospital grounds will allow them to be close to their loved one during their hospital stay," Skinner said.

Under the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS), eligible patients and carers accessing the accommodation will not face out-of-pocket costs.

IPTAAS is a NSW Government initiative designed to assist with the financial costs of travel and accommodation when patients must travel more than 100km one-way or at least 200km cumulatively per week for specialist medical treatment not available locally.