Aged care services in the ‘greying’ Northern Rivers will receive a funding boost of more than $3.6 million in ongoing funding, the Federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan has announced.

Around $2.7 million of the money will provide an additional 77 Aged Home Care places, with a further $900,000 for 14 new Residential Age Care beds. The need in the Northern Rivers is high, with 23% of population aged over 60 years. The NSW average is 17%.

St Michaels in Casino will get an extra 15 home care places, Ballina-based Integrated Living will get an additional 15 Aged care Beds, while St Andrews, also in Ballina, will get 32 new Home Care places and 2 residential care places.

Crowley Retirement Village will also get 15 extra Home Care places. In the Clarence Valley, the Whiddon Group will get an additional 12 Aged Care residential places.

Byron Central Hospital Entrance

You’re invited to the Byron Central Hospital Community Open Day

When: Saturday 9 April 2016 from 10.00am - 2.00pm
Where: 54 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale

Come along to the Community Open Day to preview the impressive new $88 million Byron Central Hospital - an advanced and modern health facility designed to support the whole Byron Shire and its many visitors.

Construction is now complete and the hospital is preparing to receive the first patients and Ambulatory Care clients. This is a unique opportunity to see areas of the hospital you wouldn't normally have access to.

Each tour will take approximately 30 minutes and there will be 15 people per tour. Spaces are limited so everyone is encouraged to book a scheduled tour time. Please wear flat shoes and arrive 10 minutes prior to your booking time.

Bookings can be made online from Monday 14 March - Wednesday 6 April 2016 at Evenbrite or, by calling 0409 984 488 between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays.

Building on the closer relationship between the Local Health District and the Primary Health Network, patients can with chronic and complex needs can expect better co-ordination of care between the primary and hospital sectors. The Health Care Home model of patient management, long promoted on the North Coast, will provide better care. This will be welcomed by both patients and clinicians alike. Kerry Wilcox, Cardiac Services and Chronic Disease Program Manager for the Northern NSW Local Health District, outlines the new arrangements. 

Chronic disease management (CDM) services in the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) have been undergoing changes recently. The new focus is on working more closely with our partners to provide "the right care, at the right place, in the right time" for patients under the Health Care Home model of care. For GPs the CDM team will contribute to the seamless patient care that extends from the patient's home all the way into the hospital.

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, Margaret Olley Trust representative Phillip Bacon, and Lismore Regional Gallery director Brett Adlington. Works by Olley from the gallery’s collection include (left) Spare Bedroom (1970) and Lemons and Ginger Jar (c1980

One of Australia’s most highly regarded painters Margaret Olley (1923-2011) may no longer be with us but her spirit was omnipresent at Lismore Regional Gallery on March 18 when a $500,000 cheque from her foundation was handed to Lismore City Council, which runs the gallery.

The donation will be added to a Federal Government grant of $2.85m and Lismore City Council co-funding to develop the Lismore Quadrangle cultural centre on Keen and Magellan Streets. A feature of the project is a new art gallery.

Bearing the good tidings and the donation was renowned Brisbane gallery owner Phillip Bacon who represents some of Australia’s best known artists - alive and not - including Jeffrey Smart, Robert Dickerson and Olley herself (a show of her works opens there on 26 July).

On behalf of the Margaret Olley Trust he presented the cheque to Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell who recalled feeling intimidated when meeting the Lismore-born artist when she visited the city towards the end of her life.

The new Byron Central Hospital (BCH) in Ewingsdale is hosting a Community Open Day on Saturday 9 April 2016, with free guided tours to give the public a preview of the facility.

The 30-minute tours of the new hospital will visit key areas such as the Emergency Department, Inpatient Unit, and Birthing Unit. To ensure the smooth scheduling of tours, visitors are asked to register their preferred time.

The $88M hospital is funded by the NSW Government and brings together the full range of acute and ambulatory care (community health and nursing, allied health) services now provided in Mullumbimby, Bangalow, and Byron Shires.