"Been around the traps."

About: Broome Health Campus Fiona Stanley Hospital

(as the patient),

Due to my need for treatment of cancer and other health issues, I have been the recipient of many services over the years through WACHS Broome.

Every three weeks, I attend Fiona Stanley Hospital Perth to see my oncologist and to receive chemotherapy. In between times, if I’m well enough, my soul mate looks after me at home.

I have reflected on these cancer services, and watched the care of other patients in the same boat, and talked (back in the days when I could talk) with them and their families… I am also a very good listener! I have concluded that having trained nursing staff to administer chemotherapy in Broome would be a huge cost saving for the organisation and a lot more comfortable for us patients and our carers. I am meant to stay away from people with infections yet I sit on a plane to and from Perth, surrounded by people coughing and sneezing for hours. I leave a warm climate and arrive in a cold one at peak Influenza time. The trips and transfers around Perth are far worse than the chemotherapy.

All the staff at Broome Hospital are very supportive. They would love to have a Chemo room and to be trained up to administer the Chemo drugs – safely, of course. In its future planning, has the senior management of Broome Hospital thought how this service could be achieved? From how I see things as a patient, providing local cancer treatments would save money, stress and time, preventing much inconvenience physically, emotionally and financially on families. I for one would prefer to have treatment in Broome and spend my remaining days of life as quality time with those people I love rather than on an aeroplane travelling thousands of kilometres away, back and forth.

I want to acknowledge the kind, thoughtful and friendly care we receive at Broome Hospital – attentive, respectful, compassionate, and personable. When she visits, my wife is always looked after and everyone offers to help, no matter how busy they are. I spend a lot of time in and out of hospital, so this means so much to us.

I would be interested to hear your plans for the future to lessen the need to travel to Perth for cancer treatment. Is anyone listening to the patients?

Responses

Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service

picture of Maureen Crowther

Dear Closer to home,

Thank you for taking the time to post your story on Patient Opinion.

Your observations, feedback and suggestions have been taken on board and referred to our Director of Nursing and Regional Director requesting a response.

We are very fortunate to have a treating team for Chemotherapy in Perth, however being so far away at a time when you feel very vulnerable and ill is not ideal.

I hope your treatment is going to plan and you and your wife are managing the travel.

Kind regards

Maureen

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Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service We are preparing to make a change

picture of Maureen Crowther

Hi Closer to home,

Attached is a response to your story from our Regional Director, Bec Smith. Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Kind regards,

Maureen

Dear Closer to home,

Thank you for sharing your personal story with very insightful comments regarding patients such as yourself needing to travel regularly to Perth for chemotherapy.

Improving health and the experience of care, which includes improving access to regional and metropolitan services, is one of the three key strategic directions of WACHS. We are committed to identifying the services most needed yet least available locally and planning solutions. In the Kimberley, cancer care is one such service.

Your story, however, has prompted us to bring forward our planning in this space and review a realistic range of appropriate chemotherapy treatments that can be managed and administered safely in collaboration with our Metropolitan based hospitals. On behalf of my executive I consider this most timely and pledge my support to getting a chemotherapy service into Broome, which is safe, patient-centred and complies with all National Standards.

Thank you for the kind words regarding the care you and your wife received from the wonderful staff at Broome Hospital. I will personally pass your comments on to them.

Best wishes,

Bec Smith

Regional Director

WA Country Health Service, Kimberley

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Updates, changes and questions related to this story

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