John Hunter Children’s Hospital
Our support of the kids of Newcastle and The Hunter Region through the John Hunter Children’s Hospital goes back to July 1999. We funded the Pharmacist for the oncology department at John Hunter with an $85,000 payment for the position. In 2000, we funded Oncology Ward improvements that included in part a $30,000 payment for a Hepa Filtration system for the oncology rooms and an Arjo Bath for $20,000.
The Children’s Hospital in Newcastle is a 114 bed tertiary referral facility. It is one of only three children’s hospitals in New South Wales and the only such facility in Australia located outside of a capital city.
The John Hunter Children’s Hospital includes a medical ward, oncology/surgical ward, adolescent and day surgery ward, sleep unit, neonatal intensive care unit, outpatient clinic and school room. Children and young people are treated from a wide geographical area stretching from Wyong, north to the Queensland border, and west to the New England tablelands. Admissions are accepted up to the age of 19 years.
The John Hunter Children’s Hospital treats over 8,000 children (including Day Stay) each year and over 28,000 occasions of service performed in Outpatients. More than 20,000 children present to the emergency department each year. Asthma is the most common reason for admission to the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. Other conditions include accidents, ear diseases and gastroenterological problems.
Other specialities treated include cystic fibrosis, diabetes, oncology (cancer) babies born with cleft palates and brain injury rehabilitation. There is a specialist paediatric allied health service, with occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietetics, physiotherapy and social work.
All clinical staff working with the John Hunter Children’s Hospital are trained in paediatrics.
Oncology and haematology
Kids with Cancer Foundation was there in 1999 providing funding to John Hunter’s new oncology unit. Oncology and haematology services have been provided at John Hunter Children’s Hospital since 1999 when the first paediatric oncology/haematology specialist was appointed.
The service provides diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for children and young people up to 18 years of age with all forms of paediatric cancer, including solid tumours and lymphoreticular malignancies.
In addition, specialist paediatric haematology consultation, review and management is available for children and young people with non-malignant haematological conditions.
Palliative Care has been defined as “patient and family centred care that optimises quality of life by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitating patient autonomy, access to information and choice.” 1 Cultural needs are also pivotal in the provision of palliative care.
The Paediatric Palliative Care Service at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital was established in April 2010. The Service aims to provide support to children and young people from the Hunter, New England or North Coast regions with life-threatening2 or life-limiting illness3 and their families/carers. The Service also aims to provide education, advice and support to health care professionals providing care to these young patients.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
In 2008 we agreed to fund the position of the Late Effects Co-Ordinator at John Hunter Children’s Hospital for 3 years and we were pleased to be asked again in 2015 to fund the Clinical Nurse Consultant for a further 3 years.
Late Effects Coordinator
A growing number of children and adolescents that have had treatment for a childhood cancer are now surviving their disease. These childhood cancer survivors require ongoing and systematic monitoring, early detection and timely intervention of a variety of potential “late effects” from their chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery or combined therapies. The late effects coordinator is responsible for coordinating clinics that educate, screen, monitor and manage childhood cancer survivors 5 years from completion of treatment to ensure the best possible quality of life for each individual. Patients receive a Patient Treatment Summary that summarises their individual treatment and recommendations and health promotion information sheets to keep them in the best health possible.
In conjunction with their primary oncologist, we are determining which survivor needs face to face appointments and which survivors can maintain contact with the late effects clinic via a standardised telephone consult, usually those at low risk of any late effects.
Lyndal Moore is the Late Effects Coordinator at John Hunter Children’s Hospital Newcastle and commenced this role in 2008 with the support of the Kids with Cancer Foundation which continues to provide this essential service to the childhood cancer survivors within the Hunter New England Local Health District.
Lyndal Moore (Late Effects Coordinator)
“We are very thankful for your support of our Late Effects Coordinator. It has made a significant difference to the co-ordination of the care of children who have completed their therapy and are most likely cured of their disease but who need follow-up for any toxicities from the therapy that they have received. This will go a long way towards providing the support that these individuals and their families need”. Dr. Frank Alvaro
The Foundation was pleased to receive a certificate of recognition in July 2008 from Senior Staff Specialist Dr. Frank Alvaro, after donating $250,000 from the sale of our $2.00 raffle tickets in Newcastle shopping centres.
“On behalf of the children of the Hunter New England region that receive cancer and haematology services at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital please accept our gratitude and sincere appreciation for the wonderful contribution of Kids With Cancer in helping us construct our new Oncology Day Unit.
The Kids with Cancer Foundation has played a significant role in bringing this project to fruition. Now, we can ensure that our patients have access to the highest quality of care and we know we have the potential to enhance and expand that care to continue delivering best practice in oncological care for children and young people.” Dr. Frank Alvaro