Better Support For People With Brain Cancer

SA Gov

South Australians with brain cancer, and their loved ones, will soon benefit from improved practical and emotional support, with the introduction of a specialised Brain Cancer Nurse Consultant.

The State Government has partnered with the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation to fund the new role to enhance access to care for patients diagnosed with brain cancer, and their families.

The Malinauskas Government has committed $300,000 over three years to fund the position, while the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation will contribute $75,000 over three years.

The new Brain Cancer Nurse Consultant will support patients and their families across the state.

About 150 South Australians are diagnosed with brain cancer every year, resulting in about 130 deaths a year.

The registered nurse position will provide clinical support and guidance to patients and their families, while helping them navigate the health care system, after a brain cancer diagnosis.

The role will support people to access palliative care clinical trials and services and ensure that treatments are provided in the right environment for the patient, such as at home where appropriate. It will also signpost to support services when the patient is eligible.

People often attend the emergency department when they have clinical concerns and don’t know who the right person is to go to. The new expert nurse consultant will be on hand as a trusted and familiar person to advise patients and reduce the need to attend the emergency department, or clinical appointments, unnecessarily.

The new role will be responsible for the development of a brain cancer optimal care pathway to complement the existing high grade glioma pathway, which is a framework to ensure that people with cancer receive 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.

As put by Chris Picton

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.

As put by Central Adelaide Local Health Network Nurse Lead Cancer Program Gabby Vigar

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.

As put by NeuroSurgical Research Foundation Executive Officer Ginta Orchard

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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