Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital

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Fundraising For

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

Items for Calvary Mater Newcastle Haematology Day Ward

Thanks to Dry July funding, the Calvary Mater Newcastle Haematology Unit, consisting of a 16-bed inpatient ward (Ward 5C) and a haematology day ward (Ward 5D), was able to purchase a number of items for patient comfort and care.

A comfy treatment chair  

Patients receiving treatment in the day ward now benefit from a new comfy treatment chair. This purchase has allowed the ward to replace one of its well-used and aging treatment chairs with something more comfortable.

Patients can be seated for treatment, including transfusions and chemotherapy for up to seven hours in the day ward, so this preferred chair is not only very comfortable it can also be positioned to provide care in the lying position.

A patient commenting on the new chair, “It’s great, the chair provides physical ease and relaxation for me when I come for my treatment”, with another patient saying, “I love that I can recline.”

An observation machine

Ward 5D is now a proud owner of a new observation machine that will enable staff to easily attend frequent patient observations during transfusions and chemotherapy. The extra machine will ensure safety of patients during infusions by identifying early symptoms if complications arise.  

Pressure injury prevention equipment for patients  

New pressure injury prevention equipment has now been bought for the Haematology Unit thanks to the generosity of Dry Julyers. The new gel cushions and waffle cushions have already been of great assistance to a number of haematology patients. The cushions assist with decreasing the risk of patients developing pressure injuries and increase patient comfort when sitting in a chair. This assists with reducing the impact of deconditioning and makes it easier for patients to transition back to home.

HoverMatt Air Transfer System at Calvary Mater

Thanks to Dry Julyers generosity Calvary Mater Newcastle now benefits from the purchase of two new HoverMatts. The HoverMatt Air Transfer System allows ward staff to safely transfer patients without lifting or straining. The Matts are extremely helpful to move patients who may be difficult to move because of their pain or size. The Matts provide the patient with more comfort and safety, with reduced skin shear and bruising.

Wendy Johnson, Haematology Nurse Unit Manager comments, “The HoverMatt makes moving our patients so much easier for the nurses and our patients feel much more comfortable throughout the process as well. They are a fantastic piece of equipment and we are very grateful to have been able to purchase them thanks to our Dry July supporters.”

A manbag with a difference!

In November 2016, Calvary Mater Newcastle patient Greg was admitted to hospital with a badly infected leg. It was necessary to remove infected tissue from a site in the leg where cancer had been removed some eight years earlier. Removal of the tissue resulted in a wound that would be difficult to heal due to the effects of six weeks of radiotherapy that followed the cancer operation. 

After nearly five weeks in hospital having the wound treated, Greg was able to be discharged thanks to the availability of one of three portable Vacuum-Assisted Closure (VAC) machines which were purchased with 2016 Dry July funding.

The VAC machine has benefitted Greg’s recovery significantly. The machine is a proven, non-invasive, advanced approach to negative pressure wound therapy to remove fluid from a wound or operation site and assist with wound healing. Without the VAC machine, Greg would need to be seen by a community nurse every day to drain the wound on his leg and change his dressings.

Greg comments, “The VAC machine only needs to be changed three times a week, giving me more freedom to do normal, everyday activities and reducing the inconvenience of waiting at home for extended periods of time.”

If the VAC machine was not available to Greg, there is a possibility he could be spending weeks, even months in and out of hospital, to treat the wound. The lightweight, portable machine has greatly reduced the size and depth of the wound, improved patient comfort and given Greg a better quality of life with less stresses on how to manage his wound and his life.

“I really appreciate the support Dry Julyers have given to Calvary Mater Newcastle. The Dry July funding used to purchase the VAC machines means that I am able to keep my wound under control in the comfort of my own environment and, there is the possibility of wound closure without further surgery. Besides, I can now say I have a manbag,” he said.

Motomed assisting patients- funded by Dry July

Mr A is a Calvary Mater Newcastle patient whose illness resulted in left sided leg weakness and left arm hemiparesis (no function in his left arm) at the age of 43. Following rehabilitation, he was able to return home independently with use of a walking stick.

However, since then his general mobility and walking endurance have declined. Late last year, Mr A was referred to the hospital’s Physiotherapy Department from his GP. Working together we set up a home exercise program of daily high repetition exercise training for his left arm and leg.

In physiotherapy sessions we endeavoured to use gym equipment but we found this difficult due to his level of weakness and tonic contractions that occur when he is trying to exercise.

We therefore trialled using the motomed which enables Mr A’s left foot to be strapped in and his hand placement to stay in place throughout exercise. Mr A has found this much easier and better to use. He enjoys using the motomed and benefits from the feedback of performance that the motomed provides as he exercises.

VAC machines

Thanks to Dry July, Calvary Mater Newcastle’s Ward 4B (Surgical) is now the proud owner of three Vacuum Assisted Closure (VAC) machines.

Cheryl Cooley, Nursing Unit Manager Ward 4B (Surgical) says, “Thank you to the Dry Julyers for supporting us in the purchase this equipment. These machines provide a non-invasive approach to negative pressure wound healing - they promote healing in a contained system that allows free movement for patients. This means that patients who have undergone surgery for cancer, for example removal of melanoma, can have this therapy applied directly after surgery to enhance wound healing and reduce their length of stay in hospital. Cancer patients are then able to be discharged home with community nurse support rather than have extensive stays in hospital.”

Donate to Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital