TAKE ACTION TO SAVE BLOOMHILL
Bloomhill Cancer Care will be forced to reduce services and staff and limit further admissions to programs if additional funding cannot be found including an urgent request for funding from the State Government.
The not-for-profit wellness centre in Buderim currently supports 1,228 clients – an increase of 46 per cent since 2013 and future projections indicate client numbers will double within 10 years.
Bloomhill CEO Chris Franck said the centre had around 40 new admissions and 20 discharges each month, a net growth of approximately 240 clients per year.
“Essentially we have become a victim of our own success,” Mr Franck said.
“We are facing an unsustainable budget deficit which will mean reducing services and staff critical to our clients’ wellbeing.
“Bloomhill has approached the State Government on a number of occasions requesting funding to support critical nursing services and our Chairperson wrote to Health Minister, Dr Steven Miles, in November last year outlining Bloomhill’s situation.
“If we don’t receive a response by 15 February, critical decisions around cuts to staff and services will have to be made.”
On learning of the charity’s crisis Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien called on the State Government to redirect the money it had promised the Federal Government for Sunshine Coast medical school places to Bloomhill.
“Seventeen months ago Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, told the State Government he was happy to forfeit money from the State for medical school places so it could instead go to Bloomhill,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Where is that money? Why hasn’t the State Government followed through?
“As far as Minister Hunt and I are concerned, that funding should still be redirected to Bloomhill because it will go a long way to filling their shortfall.
“Both Minister Hunt and I wrote to Minister Miles late last year urging him to unlock that vital funding before it is too late.”
Bloomhill, with the support of Mr O’Brien, today launched an awareness campaign to help keep the service viable.
A website has been developed so that people can register their support for Bloomhill Cancer Care.
“The more people who register and the more we can demonstrate the community’s support for Bloomhill, the more likely it is that the State Government will also support this great local charity,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I encourage everyone in the community to visit www.savebloomhill.com.au to ensure Bloomhill’s future.”
Bloomhill currently employs 47 staff, including specialist oncology nurses and allied health professionals and has the support of more than 450 volunteers.
Bloomhill’s main funding source is through 12 Op Shops across the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland, which provide approximately 80 per cent of the funding required to maintain the current level of services.
The remaining 20 per cent has come from the generous community in the form of donations and bequests. However, in the past two years these have not matched the growth in client numbers and services provided.
- Established in 1997, Bloomhill is a ‘wellness centre’ on 10 acres in Buderim , supporting people (and their families) of south east Queensland, from Gympie in the north to Caloundra in the south, from the coast to the hinterland, throughout their treatment and recovery.
- Services include:
-Nurse-led care coordination (eg. clinical assessment, treatment and care advocacy, client education)
-Allied health services (psychological, counselling, nutrition, exercise, occupational therapy and bereavement support)
-Complementary therapies such as medication, yoga, massage and art therapy
-Volunteer and transport services to and from medical appointments, shopping assistance, childminding at appointments
- Bloomhill employs 47 staff and engages more than 450 volunteers.
- For the second consecutive year, Bloomhill is heading towards a significant budget deficit of $178,000 for the 2018/19 financial year, meaning it could face closure within the next two financial years.
- The budget shortfall is attributed to increasing patient demand coupled with declining operational funding generated from its 12 Bloomhill Op Shops (80 per cent), plus fundraising, corporate sponsors and bequests (20 per cent).
- Unlike other wellness centres such as the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre and Solaris Cancer Centre (WA), Bloomhill receives no operational funding from government.
- Bloomhill is seeking State Government funding to support its cancer nursing services which are currently stretched due to increasing patient numbers.
- Bloomhill oncology nursing staff are all employed part-time and each have 250 patients on their ever-growing case lists – meaning they are no longer able to accommodate all clients’ needs.
- In the five years since 2013, cancer patient numbers have risen 46 per cent and the centre now services 1228 clients annually. Patient numbers are growing by about 240 per year.
- It’s projected that demand will increase to 1,700 clients by 2022, 2250 by 2026 and 3000 by the year 2030.
- Cancer diagnoses and cancer survival rates in Australia are on the increase. Total cancer cases diagnosed in Australia is projected to reach 150,000 next year, a 40 per cent increase from 2007.