It's been 12 months since Macquarie Home Stay opened its doors but managing director Rod Crowfoot says it still needs the community's support.
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The patient and family accommodation facility officially opened on January 29, 2019. The first stage was $4.1 million.
Almost one third of guests are maternity, followed by surgeries. However, Mr Crowfoot said there were also people who just stayed for one night because they needed treatment or tests in Dubbo.
"It's been good in the fact that we've been able to help so many this year, it has also reinforced the need for more," Mr Crowfoot said.
"There have been so many times in the last six months where we were full with a waiting list and had to turn people away. We had a full night on our birthday and we had to turn people away.
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"The business case is very much in existence that we need to expand and we need to get the stage two online whenever we can."
Macquarie Home Stay is already planning for well into the future. Stage three, which is expected to cost $3 million, needs to be ready to support patients at the Western Cancer Centre when it opens at the Dubbo Hospital in 2021.
Mr Crowfoot said the community, businesses and individuals had all been supportive of the facility so far, but the support needed to continue.
"It seems that we've hit a really special place in a lot of people's hearts for who we are and who we want to help out. I think that's been evidenced in the generosity of people just dropping pieces in to us whether it be books or DVDs or things that our guests can use," he said.
There was also financial support, from small things like raffles to big fundraising events. But more is needed.
"We need that support to show our funding bodies that the community is behind a project like Macquarie Home Stay. They want to see that it's not just a concept or an idea, they want to see the community is engaged," Mr Crowfoot said.
"We would like to say we're now done and we don't need them to do that for us anymore, but we're not there yet. It is for us a case of let's keep the momentum going, we need to keep thinking about Macquarie Home Stay."
Mr Crowfoot said the first 12 months of operation had helped the facility develop a better understanding of what its role was.
Not only were they providing a place for patients to lay their heads, it was also about giving support where it was needed, he said.
There are seven staff members, including four house keepers.
"Our house keeping team are engaging with guests every day and helping answer questions or just being around if they need anything. We try and do what we can and some of it's just making sure they're aware of the different support services that are available," Mr Crowfoot said.
The managing director said there were two drivers for Macquarie Home Stay: affordability and accessibility.
"You can't put a dollar value on being able to help somebody out at a really difficult time in their life. I think that's a big part of what Home Stay is about. We're trying to take away some of those stresses when people are away from home," Mr Crowfoot said.
"The fact that we can help people in a real physical way is great. It's not a theory thing, it's not a 'I wonder', it's a real improvement we can give people's lives. That's very satisfying.
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