THE first administration of chemotherapy by infusion occurred at Bass Coast Health (BCH) last Thursday, February 27.
Cowes resident Julia was thrilled to receive the treatment close to home, having previously travelled to Melbourne for treatment on multiple occasions.
Two years of planning behind the scenes occurred to reach the point of commencing a chemotherapy service at Wonthaggi Hospital.
Alfred Health supported the training and development of BCH’s nursing and pharmacy staff to provide a service locally, so patients no longer have to drive into the south-east suburbs or further into the city.
“Today sees months of collaboration between the Alfred Hospital and Bass Coast Health come to fruition, with safety being our top priority,” operations director Kirsten Weinzierl said on Thursday.
“We have invested in our staff, infrastructure and equipment to be able to deliver contemporary care in line with the ‘EviQ framework’, a national resource of evidence-based, consensus-driven cancer treatment protocols.
“This is a real win for our local community – being able to receive expert, local care, and saving precious time and expense has been well received.”
Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child was delighted with the commencement of chemotherapy at BCH.
“We could not have reached this point without our dedicated staff, supported by nurse manager Pat McCabe, Dr George Grigoriadis and the Alfred oncology team, who so willingly share their expertise and knowledge,” Ms Child said.
The leadership and vision of medical specialists, including oncologists Dr Mark Shackleton and Dr Andrew Haydon, as well as radiation oncologist Dr Hany Elsaleh, has been exceptional, Ms Child said.
“Our next steps involve finalising plans for the new Wonthaggi Hospital Integrated Cancer Unit building which will include nine chemotherapy chairs and a range of support services.
“With separate access and a beautiful landscaped courtyard, the environment will be a calm and soothing space for patients and their families. We hope to have the new cancer centre completed by early 2021.”
For further details, phone Kirsten Weinzierl, operations director at Bass Coast Health, on 5671 3333.