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Rotary clubs driving Metford HealthStays project

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Metford will soon become a temporary home to regional and rural patients travelling for healthcare thanks to a groundbreaking project undertaken by the Rotary Clubs of Maitland.  

HealthStays will provide quality accommodation for patients, their families and carers, who travel to Maitland Hospital for care, including cancer treatment.  

The facility will be built at 34 Turton Street, Metford.  

Currently a commercial property, the site will be transformed into a specialised, 14-bedroom accommodation, with common rooms and a quality fit-out. 

“For those needing accommodation while here for medical treatment, the site is ideally located, being within minutes of Maitland Hospital, specialist medical providers, bus routes, Victoria Street Station, and Green Hills Shopping Centre.” said Rotarian Trevor Lynch, chair of Maitland HealthStays.

HealthStays already has conceptual architectural plans for staged redevelopment of the Metford site.  

“We have now begun the detailed design and approval phase funded by monies raised. The Rotary Golf Day on 24 March will add substantial support to this work and to developing submissions for major grant funding.” Mr Lynch said.  

“The need for this project was identified a few years ago and reinforced by the 2022 NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into regional health.”

The HealthStays Metford site is expected to look similar to Rotary Lodge, Port Macquarie.

The Inquiry found that rural and regional residents have inferior access to health and hospital services, face significant financial challenges in accessing diagnosis, treatment, and other health services, and have significantly poorer health outcomes, greater incidents of chronic disease and greater premature deaths.  

The project is being driven by dedicated Rotarians and professionals.  

“We are actively engaging with our state and federal MPs, NSW Health Minister Ryan Park, Hunter New England Health, NSW Health Infrastructure, and pursuing community and corporate funding, including through the new Rotary Foundation CSR Grants program,” Mr Lynch said  

The first funding target is $2.5m to execute the property purchase, while Stage 1 will cost around $6m to complete.  

“We have incredible support from our Rotary clubs, other charities, federal and state representatives, local business and professionals, and we are confident we can achieve those targets and deliver this vital project,” Mr Lynch said.

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