Hospital-based facilities

Data relating to hospice care units across public hospitals are derived from the National Public Hospital Establishments Database (NPHED). Data for private hospitals, including facilities and specialised services for acute and psychiatric hospitals, are derived from the Private Health Establishments Collection, which was sourced from an annual survey collecting information relating to private hospital activities in Australia, but which ceased in 2016–17 (ABS 2018). Further details on the NPHED database can be found in the data sources section.

Specialist palliative care inpatient units in public hospitals

A specialist palliative care inpatient unit is a specialist unit delivering palliative care services and can include both free-standing facilities and wards within a hospital. However, these specialist units are identified differently in the NPHED across states and territories. Although palliative care services may be delivered in a range of settings, the number of specialist palliative care inpatient units are reported in this section due to their specialised role in palliative care delivery. In addition, the information derived from the NPHED does not include all palliative care services in Australia; for example, private health-care providers/hospitals providing inpatient palliative care services are not in scope of the NPHED.

In 2018–19, a total of 110 public acute hospitals nationally reported having a hospice care specialist palliative care inpatient unit (see Table APC.15). This represents 1 in 6 (16.4%) of the 669 public acute hospitals (excluding public psychiatric hospitals) in Australia. Just over a quarter (27.3%) of hospitals with a specialist palliative care inpatient unit were located in each of New South Wales and Western Australia (Figure APC.5). About one-quarter (26.2%) of public acute hospitals in Major cities had a specialist palliative care inpatient unit, and close to 1 in 7 (13.9%) in Regional and 1 in 10 in Remote (10.8%) area hospitals respectively.

Figure APC.5: Public acute hospitals with specialist care inpatient units, by states and territory, 2018-19

Vertical bar chart showing the number of public acute hospitals with specialist palliative care inpatient units by jurisdiction. NSW 30, Vic 26, Qld 11, WA 30, SA not published, Tas 2, ACT 1, NT not published. Refer to Table APC.15.

Source data: Admitted patient palliative care and hospital-based facilities Table APC.15

Private acute and psychiatric hospitals

The Private Health Establishments Collection ceased in 2016–17 (ABS 2018). In the last release, there were 300 private acute and psychiatric hospitals nationally in 2016–17. Of these, 24 (8.0%) had specialist palliative care inpatient units recorded. The average total number of specialist palliative care inpatient unit beds available nationally was 281, with an estimated 68,917 patient days and an average length of stay of 11.7 days (ABS 2018).