Five healthcare workers in a new cancer service room.

Nurse Manager Natalie Schmude, Kempsey District Hospital’s Acting Executive Officer Katie Croad, Manager Nursing and Service Development Jill Harrington, Registered Nurse Monique Varcoe and Nurse Practitioner Kirsty Baxter in the Kempsey outreach clinic.

Cancer treatment closer to home for Kempsey patients

Mar 22, 2024

Select cancer treatments will be available closer to home for people living in the Kempsey and Macleay region with the commencement of a new outreach clinic at Kempsey District Hospital this week.

Low-risk chemotherapy treatments for some patients will be available initially one day a week as an outreach service from the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute in Port Macquarie.

Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick acknowledged the local charity Lilli Pilli Ladies and its support partner Friends of Lilli Pilli Ladies for advocating on behalf of the Macleay community for the local clinic.

“This is a significant milestone to be able to deliver this oncology service to patients in the Macleay and we recognise the important role the Lilli Pilli Ladies have played in making this happen,” Mr Dowrick said.

“It’s a wonderful example of collaborating with the local community to provide an outreach service for patients requiring low-risk chemotherapy, reducing the need for travel and minimising the expense and impact on patients and their carers.”

The service will be delivered from the infusion room at Kempsey District Hospital, with plans to expand the service in the future.

MNCLHD District Director Integrated Care, Allied Health and Community Services Jill Wong said the care provided would be culturally safe and responsive.

“We have heard from the Kempsey community that they want oncology and hematology services closer to home and that distance to travel is a barrier to accessing appropriate care,” Ms Wong said.

“The Kempsey outreach clinic will enable us to provide optimal cancer treatment, care and support locally for our patients.”

Lilli Pilli Ladies President Judy Saul said the group welcomed the new service and will continue to advocate for better access to medical services locally.

“Our thanks go out to the wonderful Oncology team who have worked with us over the past 12 months to make this service a reality for cancer patients in the Macleay,” Mrs Saul said.

“We are committed to a further expansion of the service and will continue to support the hospital by fundraising to purchase equipment to ease the cancer journey for patients and assist staff in their day-to-day care of patients.”

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