Gorman House: The next chapter
Gorman House is part of St Vincent’s Hospital Alcohol and Drug Clinic and shelter to some of Sydney’s most marginalised and problematic population suffering from severe alcohol and drug problems. It consistently operates at full capacity and admits more than 1,500 residents each year. Demand continues to outstrip supply – for every person admitted, another is turned away due to lack of beds.
Since 2006, the NSW Branch of the Order has financially supported the unit, which has provided a social non-medically supervised model of withdrawal management. In addition, Branch Members and volunteers have further supported the unit in the form of thrice weekly BBQs to socialise with residents over this difficult period.
Patient and community needs have changed dramatically over the years and a proposal for a redesign of the unit and its services was submitted to NSW Health, and approved. Consequently, in June 2016 Gorman House closed to undergo building modifications that would support a new specialised medical unit.
In February 2017, the new Gorman Unit will reopen and provide specialised medical care for people requiring withdrawal management. It will have 20 beds and experienced and dedicated medical, nursing and allied health staff. The unit will focus on providing holistic care including withdrawal management, stabilisation, ongoing treatment planning and post discharge follow up for patients that are often marginalised. The service will be delivered in conjunction with an outpatient ambulatory withdrawal and relapse prevention service. To ensure improved health outcomes for patients the Unit will work closely with partners including Non-Government Organisations and the Local Health Districts to promote seamless withdrawal and post-withdrawal care.
The Order of Malta’s NSW Branch has committed to continuing its financial and volunteer support of the Unit and the Drug, Alcohol and Homeless outreach support services, including the NSW Branch Community Care Van
The volunteer BBQ’s, that were moved to Tierney House (a residential unit assisting the inner city homeless population to access health care) during the closure, will resume at Gorman House. However the success of the BBQs at Tierney House has meant that residents and staff there wish to see them continue also.
If you would like to volunteers at the Gorman House and Tierney House BBQs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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