Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital

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Funds raised this Dry July will help fund equipment, programs and refurbishments

About Us

Calvary Mater Newcastle is the major cancer care centre for Hunter New England Local Health District, delivering more than 485,000 occasions of outpatient services and in excess of 17,000 inpatient treatments per year.

We provide a comprehensive range of cancer services, diagnosis and treatment including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplants and surgery.

As the region’s tertiary referral cancer hospital, we treat a lot of patients who travel a great distance to have their treatment. Calvary Mater Newcastle is recognised as a leading research centre. It is also the main centre for cancer clinical trials in the Hunter region, with local, national and international research collaborations taking place.

By raising funds for Dry July and choosing to support Calvary Mater Newcastle, you are helping fund projects for our oncology services that directly benefit and assist in the comfort and care of our patients and their families.

The projects and equipment funded in 2023, included:

- Two chemotherapy treatment chairs for the Day Treatment Centre
- Post-operative surgical bras for women undergoing surgery for breast cancer and breast reconstructive surgery
- Enhance and update equipment in the Occupational Therapy Oncology Equipment Loan Program.

By supporting us in 2024, we hope to improve the patient experience for those being treated within our outpatient services.

Thank you for choosing to support Calvary Mater Newcastle.

Latest Updates

Airvo humidifiers -Thanks Dry Julyers'

Patients and staff of Calvary Mater Newcastle’s Oncology Ward 5B are very grateful for Dry July funding which has enabled the purchase of two much-needed Airvo humidifiers.

For patients with head and neck cancers, the humidifiers assist with by warming and moistening the air, alleviating drying out of airways and reducing symptoms related to head and neck cancers.

As head and neck cancer patients don’t breath through their noses, airways can dry out quickly causing excess saliva build-up, leading to further complications.

Linda Liversidge, Ward 5B Nursing Unit Manager commented, “It has been fantastic having the Airvo Humidifiers to loan out to patients who have had tracheostomies or laryngectomies. As humidifiers are costly to hire, patients now don’t have the added stress of finding funds to obtain a machine. It gives these patients the flexibility to go home, avoiding extended stays in hospital.”

Oncology Equipment Loan Pool - Thanks to Dry Julyers'

Thanks to Dry July funding, the Occupational Therapy Department at Calvary Mater Newcastle was able to purchase a large range of assistive aids for the hospital’s Oncology Equipment Loan Pool.

The Oncology Equipment Loan Pool is a comprehensive service that is provided free of charge to any Calvary Mater Newcastle oncology outpatient receiving treatment. The pool provides a vast range of assistive devices and appliances to help patients manage the functional disabilities that occur with cancer diseases. Equipment includes: wheelchairs, pressure cushions, shower chairs, commodes, raised toilet seats, portable ramps, bathboards, swivel bathseats, to name but a few. At any one point in time up to 300 patients can be benefiting from this pivotal service.

Prior to this funding many of the items on loan were approaching their end of life. Thanks to Dry July, the team has now updated and expanded upon the hundreds of items they currently have available for patients including new bariatric equipment.

Andrew Wakely, Occupational Therapist-in-Charge, Calvary Mater Newcastle, says, “The equipment we provide through this program saves the patient and their carers from the added burdens of falls, pressure injuries, being immobile or housebound.

“For many of the patients we provide equipment to it is the only item that may get them to the shops (using the example of wheelchairs), or the only way that they can enjoy a hot bath or shower (using our specialised bathing assistive items). These are just two examples of the difference the appliances make.

“A sincere thank you to all the Dry Julyers who enabled us to purchase this new equipment, without you help and assistance we wouldn’t be able to support the many patients that we do.”

Blood Pressure Monitors in Newcastle

Thanks to the generosity of Dry Julyers, staff and patients at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Medical Centre are now benefiting from the purchase of four new blood pressure monitors.

The valuable monitors are situated in the Medical Centre corridors giving staff easier access to the equipment without having to leave their work area or their patients. It also allows doctors to have access to a monitor in a clinic room if they wish, preventing interruptions in consultations.

Mark Barrie, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Medical Centre, comments, “With the addition of four new blood pressure monitors in the Medical Centre, our patients now have more timely access to the latest technology equipment, meaning less interruptions to their care. Thank you for supporting us Dry July.”

Sara Stedy at Calvary Mater Newcastle

Ward 4B (Surgical) at Calvary Mater Newcastle is now the proud owner of a Sara Stedy which is already making a big difference to the lives of patients on the ward.

The Sara Stedy is utilised for the patient after postoperative cancer surgery as a transfer aid that provides mobility, support and encourages more mobile patients to stand up independently.

Cheryl Cooley, Nurse Unit Manager Ward 4B (Surgical) comments, “It is wonderful to have a Sara Stedy. This piece of equipment increases our patient’s independence and dignity, and assists our nurses to safely and easily assist patients in adjusting their clothes after bathing. It is a fantastic addition to the ward.”

Occupational Therapy Equipment for Villas at Calvary Mater Newcastle

Calvary Mater Newcastle has onsite accommodation available for rural and remote patients receiving active treatment as an outpatient at the hospital. Thanks to Dry July funding, the hospital has been able to purchase occupational therapy equipment to assist patients staying in the Villas.

New equipment includes shower chairs, toilet aids, recliner chairs, highback chairs and bed wedges. The equipment has increased the safety and independence of Villa patients and it has improved the comfort of patients who, due to disease/treatment-related issues or comorbidities, have been unable to use standard equipment. While much of the equipment is now located in patients’ rooms for comfort and ease, one of the high-backed sitting chairs (which has a height adjustable seat) has been placed in the shared lounge area. This means that patients with mobility difficulties are able to enjoy the company of other patients and feel confident that there will be a comfortable chair for them to use safely and independently. A Villa patient commented “The chairs are very comfortable and easy to use,” while another said, “the personal care equipment has helped me to maintain my independence.”

Nicole Orozovic, Haematology Occupational Therapist, said, “The equipment has provided staff with options to assist patients who have issues with pain management, breathing difficulties, or high needs due to cancer-related issues or comorbidities. By having this equipment onsite it means that Villa patients are less likely to be admitted to hospital due to unmet care/equipment needs. This significantly improves patients’ quality of life.

Nicole concludes, “We are extremely grateful to Dry July for this generous donation. Our aim is to provide the best possible care to patients receiving cancer treatment and this donation has certainly helped us to improve the comfort of Villa patients and to ensure their safety and independence. Thank you.”

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