Cancer patients, carers and families who have been affected by an advanced or terminal illness have been urged to share their stories to enhance palliative services.
Cancer Council NSW is encouraging people who have been affected by advanced or terminal cancer in the last five years to call 13 11 20 during April. The information will be used to show the difference palliative care can make in someone’s life, while also drawing attention to the gaps in services in Western NSW.
The information will enhance Cancer Council NSW’s I Care for Palliative Care advocacy campaign, calling for NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to end the palliative shortage.
Cancer Council NSW community programs coordinator Camilla Thompson said she everyone should get the support and care they need, when and where they need it.
“We know there are not enough palliative care doctors or nurses to meet the needs of the NSW community, and there is a lack of culturally appropriate palliative care for Aboriginal people. This is why we’re encouraging people to call the 13 11 20 Information and Support Service and answer a short series of questions with a health professional, in confidence,” she said.
Ros Walters is among those who has shared her experience with Cancer Council.
“Max was a much happier patient with the palliative care team visiting us at home. We were able to be much more independent, and they lifted a huge load from my shoulders by providing such wonderful care and comfort for Max,” Ms Walters said.
The 13 11 20 information and support service operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Throughout April the hours will be extended on Thursdays from 8am to 6pm.
A questionnaire is also available on the Cancer Council NSW website at cancercouncil.com.au/palliativecare.