Government

$375k investment announced to support people with brain cancer

South Australians grappling with the complexities of brain cancer will soon receive a significant boost in support, thanks to a new initiative aimed at enhancing the care and guidance provided to patients and their families.

South Australians grappling with the complexities of brain cancer will soon receive a significant boost in support, thanks to a new initiative aimed at enhancing the care and guidance provided to patients and their families.

In a collaborative effort, the State Government and the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation have announced funding for a specialized Brain Cancer Nurse Consultant role, dedicated to offering comprehensive support across the state.

This landmark initiative, backed by a $300,000 commitment from the Malinauskas Government over three years and an additional $75,000 from the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation, seeks to bridge the gap in care for the approximately 150 South Australians diagnosed with brain cancer annually. This disease is not only a profound health challenge but also a leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the state, with about 130 deaths recorded each year.

The introduction of the Brain Cancer Nurse Consultant role is a response to the urgent need for specialized, patient-centered care in the brain cancer journey. The appointed registered nurse will serve as a critical resource for clinical support and guidance, helping patients and their loved ones navigate the often daunting healthcare system following a diagnosis. From facilitating access to palliative care and clinical trials to ensuring treatments are delivered in the most suitable environments, the consultant will play a pivotal role in improving patient outcomes and quality of life.

Moreover, this initiative aims to alleviate the strain on emergency departments by providing patients with a trusted advisor for their clinical concerns, potentially reducing unnecessary hospital visits. The consultant will also spearhead the development of a brain cancer optimal care pathway, enhancing the existing framework to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality, and evidence-based care.

Recruitment is underway and the successful candidate will be appointed to begin their important work as soon as possible.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton said ‘A brain cancer diagnosis is devastating and daunting and we want to do everything we can to support South Australians going through this incredibly difficult time.’

‘When someone is diagnosed with brain cancer it can affect many aspects of their life, taking a toll emotionally, physically and financially.’

‘We are committed to enhancing our world-class cancer care services.’

‘Having a statewide specialised consultant will help patients navigate the system and offer improved access to services and supports so they can receive the best possible care.’

Central Adelaide Local Health Network Nurse Lead Cancer Program Gabby Vigar said ‘This new position will play a key role in advancing cancer care to South Australians. It takes the emphasis of providing non-clinical care away from our physicians, and expands our services to patients, ensuring that every aspect of their support is taken care of.’

‘People experiencing brain cancer, and their families, often need help with much more than medical treatments. Their emotional and financial wellbeing, and that of their loved ones, is paramount to living out their life in a relative state of comfort and wellbeing.’

‘The new Brain Cancer Nurse Consultant will support our patients and their families to access the assistance they need and better navigate the healthcare system after diagnosis.’

NeuroSurgical Research Foundation Executive Officer Ginta Orchard said ‘There are quite a few services available for families, but they’re just not getting the information when they need it the most. Or if they are getting the information, they haven’t got the time or ability to make those phone calls.’

‘By improving the coordination of care and support for patients and families, this role will also help minimise the cost to the health system by reducing duplication of services, unnecessary clinical appointments, and emergency department presentations.’

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