Sunshine Hospice closes its doors indefinitely

DESPITE an 11th-hour funding reprieve, Sunshine Hospice, better known as Katie Rose Cottage, will close its doors indefinitely.

Well-documented financial difficulties recently had caused the closure, which chairman Dr Frank Lewins hoped would prove to be only temporary.

"It's become increasingly clear that we couldn't stay open any longer," Dr Lewins said.

He said the decision was made to close the hospice now, to ensure nursing staff entitlements were paid and the organisation was not put in a position where it was trading while insolvent.

"Hopefully, this is just a temporary closure," Dr Lewins said.

Dr Lewins said even if the $100,000 that the Daily understands was granted by Queensland Health last month had been cleared immediately, it would at-best buy the hospice another six weeks.

"We didn't want to risk not being able to re-open," he said.

He said holding out any longer may have resulted in a deterioration in care or inability to pay nurses but he admitted the hospice had been in a tough position, believing it would have come under fire if it had raised concerns six months ago, from those arguing care should come before finances.

Dr Lewins said the hospice would recover and hopefully be operational with a more secure outlook in the not-too-distant future, but he also said greater financial backing from the State Government would go on a long way to helping secure that future.

LNP Member for Noosa Glen Elmes said he couldn't fault the work of Queensland Health in finding the bailout funds, given the hospice was community-based and not on the State Government radar.

Mr Elmes said he hoped to see the hospice return soon and would again work with it to secure future funds.



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