Hospital chaplaincy continues amongst hospital openings and closures

April 14, 2019

Late last year the NSW Health Hospitals on the Northern Beaches closed their acute care, mental health and maternity facilities at Manly and Mona Vale Hospitals.  Anyone living in the local parishes will be well aware of the changes, talked about for many decades and now completed.  Manly Hospital has closed completely while Mona Vale Hospital retains its recently newly opened Beaches Rehabilitation Unit and Assessment Unit.  Some redevelopment work continues on site for a Palliative Care Unit and other services related to Emergency Care and Assessment.

The local Hospital and Pastoral Care Services team collaborated for the Farewell Manly Hospital Ecumenical Service. Fr David Taylor reads at the Manly Hospital Closure service (left). 

Our pastoral care volunteers thanked outgoing General Manager Frank Bazic for his support over many years collaborating to provide pastoral care at Manly Hospital (right). 

In the place of the closed hospitals the new Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH) opened on October 31.  Locals could not miss the attention given to this event in the press with road works in progress. Existing patients were safely transferred from Manly and Mona Vale over two tense days.  Meticulous planning went into the move and everyone involved had fingers crossed for a journey ‘up the hill’ to Frenchs Forest.

A special international health facilities transfer service company was contracted to achieve the mammoth task.  The new hospital built by HealthScope will operate the facility for 20 years for NSW Health at which time it will revert back to NSW Health control and operation.

Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care Services at NBH

As a result of these developments our Diocesan Administrator, Fr David Ranson, has lead the negotiations with HealthScope to supply Catholic Hospital and Pastoral Care Services to the new facility.  Fr David has also developed a local protocol for the on-going involvement of Pastoral Care Volunteers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) in NBH. 

The service began in late February with the move from Manly Hospital of Pastoral Care Practitioner Denis O’Brien, employed by CatholicCare Diocese of Broken Bay, who delivers a part-time service.  Catholic Chaplains for NBH are Fr Shiju Simon OSH and Fr Satheesh Ramanchanett OSH, Assistant Priests of Frenchs Forest Catholic Parish.  Pastoral Care Volunteers and EMHC will also be coordinated by Frenchs Forest Catholic Parish.

If you or a loved one are ever admitted into NBH, let the Admissions Staff know that you are a Catholic.  If you would like Catholic pastoral care for yourself or your loved one whilst in hospital, let the Admissions Staff know and you can call the Parish Office at Our Lady of Good Counsel Frenchs Forest, or ask any hospital staff to contact a Priest or Catholic Pastoral Care Practitioner, or arrange to receive Holy Communion.

Catholic Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care Services have been operating in the main hospitals across the Diocese for 6 years.  The service at NBH complements the services at Mona Vale, Gosford, Wyong, Royal North Shore and Hornsby Hospitals, as well as the Sydney Adventist Hospital, Wahroonga.  If you require Catholic Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care call your local parish offices.  You can always ask about Catholic Pastoral Care from staff at the hospitals, it is well known and respected.

by Peter Brown, Coordinator, CatholicCare Hospital Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care programs


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