PAEDIATRIC patients will no longer have to travel to Sydney for certain specialised medical treatments, thanks to a new paediatric ambulatory care unit operating out of Bathurst Base Hospital.
Housed within the paediatric ward, the unit has already helped immunology and allergy patients who previously had to travel to Westmead for treatment and there are plans to expand its services.
Paediatric registered nurse Kayleen Cole has been providing specialised out patient paediatric services for close to two years, but said the new ambulatory care unit allows more services; anything from infusions to blood transfusions even food challenges for children with allergies.
Ms Cole said the hospital was approached by Sydney to start doing food challenges due to the huge demand and waiting lists that exist.
She said the hospital’s paediatric specialists were very supportive, and last week the unit did its first food challenge on a patient, who would otherwise have been waiting months for the challenge, which would have been done in a Sydney hospital.
“Currently there are 1600 kids waiting for food challenges,” she said, adding the feedback from parents and patients had been amazing.
She said families are over the moon they can access such specialised medical services here.
Ms Cole said the benefits of accessing the treatment locally were many.
“The impact on the family, the child socially as well as the economic aspect of having to go to Sydney,” she said.
“Treating the child here reduces the impact on their schooling, they can maintain friendships, and stay at school longer. Sick kids miss out on so much school.
“Being able to do the treatment here also keeps the family together.”
Being able to do the treatment here keeps the family together.
Nursing unit manager Shirley Roberts agreed, saying she was incredibly proud of what the hospital has established, and said the service will continue to grow.
“There’s a lot of vision for the future,” she said.
“We’re hoping to do oncology services down the track,” she said.
Bathurst Base Hospital general manager Cathy Marshall said the new paediatric ambulatory care was a fantastic addition to the services available through the hospital.
She said the hospital was incredibly lucky to have such an experienced team of service providers, who were passionate about their jobs and improving outcomes for sick children.
Ms Roberts agreed, saying the new unit was the result of a team effort.
“We received great support from the executive in getting this up and going, it has been a team effort by everyone.”