New Equipment for Calvary Mater Newcastle

Oncology Loan Pool 

The Calvary Mater Newcastle Occupational Therapy Department offers all patients receiving oncology or haematology treatment at the hospital access to a comprehensive loan pool of over 800 items. 

This pool is stocked with 80 different styles of equipment that may be prescribed based on the individual patient’s needs and can assist patients to live a more comfortable life through their cancer treatment. The provision of often simple assistive aids like wheelchairs, dressing sticks, over bed tables, shower chairs, raised toilet seats and bath boards, for short term loan can allow patients to be discharged home or into care, and complete activities of daily living. Patients are better able to manage their illness with specific loan items and often comment on the huge benefits of this service. One family member, when trialling items for her 94 year old father said, “Thank you for the cushion for Dad… he is finding the footstool and cushion to be very comfortable with the skin grafts on his legs”. Quotes of gratitude like this are very common and show how much comfort the loan items can provide the patient as well as their concerned families. 

Thanks to 2018 Dry July funding, the team have purchased new innovative products to add to the pool. New advances in design have seen greater weight capacities introduced in seating, bathroom and showers aids, and improved technologies in pressure care materials, like cushions and mattress overlays, now give greater patient comfort and support than ever before. It is wonderful to be able to provide such a broad range of equipment to over 300 patients every year, a completely free service that is only made possible by the generous donations of Dry Julyers. This invaluable funding is directly responsible for purchasing and updating the equipment as it needs replacing, and allows us to replenish our stock of commodes, portable ramps, raised toilet seats and many other items that reduce the risk of pressure injuries and lessen the burdens of falls. 

Andrew Wakely, Occupational Therapist In Charge, says, “The loan pool is constantly evolving to keep up to date with trends in care, ensuring we provide the best functional options for patients according to their individual needs. We review our stock regularly and are currently in the process of streamlining our administration process to deliver the best outcome for each patient. We are ever so grateful to Dry July and its supporters for their continued support of our Oncology Loan Pool, your support makes such a difference.”

Blanket Warmer for the Day Treatment Centre

The Calvary Mater Newcastle Day Treatment Centre was able to purchase a new blanket warmer thanks to funding from Dry July. 

Marissa Ledlin, Nurse Unit Manager of the Day Treatment says, “The centre’s new blanket warmer provides more than just the warm fuzzies! Some of the side effects of chemotherapy and scalp cooling mean that to help relieve patient’s symptoms we need to warm our patients up. Having a blanket warmer close by means that staff are not required to source warm blankets from other departments, thereby making patients more comfortable quicker and saving the nurses precious time.  

“We also love that it is sometimes just about the warm fuzzies! It’s such a simple thing we can do that makes a big difference, you can see on patient’s faces how much they appreciate a warm blanket, they just relax.”  

With one patient commenting, “When you are given a warm blanket it is like getting a warm hug, I love getting one.”   

New scales for the Melanoma Unit

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in males and the third in females in NSW. The Calvary Mater Newcastle Melanoma Unit provides care to patients with primary, metastatic melanoma and patients at high risk of developing melanoma.

Thanks to the support of Dry July, the hospital’s Melanoma Unit was able to purchase the latest handrail scales, providing increased safety for its patients. The handrail provides the patient with a safe handhold before during and after weighing, the platform is also non slip and can accommodate patients weighing up to 300kgs. As the scales are on wheels they provide staff and patients with the convenience of being able to easily move them from one clinic room to another. 

Cheryl Cooley, Nurse Unit Manager of the Melanoma Unit, says, “Thank you Dry July for assisting us to purchase new scales. The scales provide our patients with a peace of mind while being weighed and are making a great difference to the patient experience.” 

New IV poles for the Nutrition and Dietetics Service 

Thanks to Dry July generosity the hospital’s Dietetics Department was able to purchase 12 new IV poles. These poles are used by Head and Neck Cancer patients to assist with tube feeding at home while they receive and recover from treatment.

Patient, Peter Amos, said, "I owe a debt of gratitude to all those dedicated Mater staff that make available the IV posts for cancer patients. Having this equipment available at home has made it easier to manage both food and water intake, making it easier to cope during my cancer journey." 

Thank you to all of our Supporters and to the Dry July Foundation for making all of these projects possible. 

Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital

$90,264.67 raised