March 13, 2020
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has written to the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board about the scrapping of the Nurse Navigator Cancer Care role at Kingaroy Hospital.
The position was created in April 2017 and assisted about 150 people in the South Burnett before it was axed in December last year.
At that time, the nurse employed was still working with 76 clients.
A spokesperson for Darling Downs Health told southburnett.com.au on Thursday a “generalist” Nurse Navigator position had been created to cater for all patients to replace the specialist cancer support role “to better meet the chronic and complex health needs of the Darling Downs Health community”.
“While I appreciate and value the important role of Nurse Navigators in our health system, I am concerned that the South Burnett has lost a vital service with the role no longer focusing specifically on cancer care,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“When I found out about this change, I wrote to the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Board to highlight these concerns and request they reconsider returning the role.
“There is an obvious need for cancer care professionals in our region, and it is concerning that a role which had been operating for nearly two years, and which was highly valued and appreciated by cancer patients, has been lost.”
In her letter to Board chairman Mike Horan, Mrs Frecklington said feedback indicated cancer patients appreciated and needed this tailored health care service.
“I also note that there is a large number of cancer patients in the South Burnett,” she wrote.
“In Murgon, Cherbourg and Wondai, the rate of people dying from cancer is 15 per cent above the national average and in Kingaroy and Kumbia it is 9 per cent higher.
“Prior to the change in role, the Nurse Navigator Cancer Care had 76 active clients, with 10-12 new referrals each month.
“There is an obvious need for cancer care professionals in our region and it is concerning that a service which had been working so well has been changed.
“On behalf of cancer patients in the South Burnett, I request consideration of the return of a Nurse Navigator Cancer Care role to the South Burnett.”
- Related article: Why Was Cancer Role Scrapped?