Portland Chemotherapy Helps More Locals

Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Demand for chemotherapy services at Portland District Health (PDH) is outstripping expectations.

PDH was contracted to undertake 91 chemotherapy treatments this financial year but has already completed 169 treatments.

It is expected the service will provide almost three times the expected number of treatments by the end of this financial year.

PDH CEO Chris Giles said the unit was providing an important service for the Portland community.

The uptake has been significantly more than what we anticipated, Ms Giles said.

Ms Giles said more complex chemotherapy procedures were being performed than originally anticipated. Some of the treatments are lasting up to eight hours.

Our staff education and training and support from South West Oncology in Warrnambool have allowed this expansion to happen very seamlessly,she said.

The confidence of specialists in our local team and support from physicians has led to a wider range of services being available.

At this stage the service will remain weekly due to oncologist availability.

At the moment the weekly Thursday sessions work very well, Ms Giles said. We're full but we're not overloaded.

Patients have been very thankful for the local service. “It saves people from having a three-hour drive,Ms Giles said.

The service was developed as a partnership between Portland District Health, South West Healthcare, Barwon Health Cancer Services, South West Oncology and Barwon South Western Regional Integrated Cancer Services.

PDH nursing staff have undergone extensive training to support the delivery of chemotherapy.

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