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Call for affordable accommodation answered for NSW cancer patients

28th October 2015 - Patient support

Cancer Council NSW and AccorHotels partner to provide reduced rate accommodation

A new partnership announced today will provide NSW cancer patients with reduced rate accommodation options when they are required to travel to Sydney for their cancer treatment.

The new partnership between Cancer Council NSW and AccorHotels will help to ease the financial burden by providing cancer patients, carers and their family members access to hundreds of affordable rooms. The service will be available across 62 AccorHotels properties close to treatment facilities in greater Sydney and other locations across NSW.

The service will complement the current NSW Government’s Isolated Patients Transport and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS). The overall financial burden of cancer will be reduced for these patients when they claim the commercial IPTAAS rate on these rooms.

Merewyn Partland, Director of Community Engagement Program Delivery at Cancer Council NSW said it’s concerning to hear of patients who have chosen to forfeit vital treatment because of the financial burden and lack of available accommodation options when being treated away from their home region.

“When you are diagnosed with cancer, your time should be spent on getting to your radiation and chemotherapy treatments, eating properly and staying focused on the goal of getting better. This new service will help cancer patients and their families rest easy knowing accommodation options close to their treatment facility will be available at a cost affordable to them.”

Cancer Council NSW CEO, Jim L’Estrange said, “we are excited to be able to strengthen our pre-existing support services by adding this new initiative with AccorHotels. This unique service will help to further ease the burden of cancer for the high number of cancer patients, carers and their families who we support on a local level in communities across NSW.”

“Working with AccorHotels and complementing the NSW Government’s IPTAAS will provide an effective solution to the problem of accessible accommodation that we know many of these patients face.”

Hotel staff will be trained to deal with specific dietary and housekeeping requirements. Rooms will have a Cancer Council NSW support pack providing information on other cancer support services, which will aid patients and their families during treatment away from home.

Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer for AccorHotels Pacific said, “we are delighted to be announcing a new partnership with Cancer Council NSW and offering discounted accommodation at over 60 NSW hotels for those needing to travel for treatment. 

“AccorHotels is a passionate supporter of community organisations and this new initiative will make a real difference to the lives of people affected by cancer.

“Sadly we all know of someone who has been affected by this illness. Our aim is to make an already emotional situation easier by providing the AccorHotels hospitality to those who need it most while helping them focus their energies on getting better.”

Cancer patients who require accommodation are encouraged to visit  https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/accommodation or call Cancer Council NSW on 13 11 20 to discuss their options.  

-Ends-

Media contacts:

Gina Murphy, PR Manager Cancer Council NSW 0413 889 283

Laura Cairnduff, PR Officer Cancer Council NSW 0423 421 382

Interviews available with Merewyn Partland, Director of Community Engagement Program Delivery at Cancer Council NSW

Notes to editor

Reduced rate AccorHotels Rooms

  • Reduced rate rooms of up to 30 per cent will apply for all cancer patients who must travel to Sydney as part of their treatment and do not require on-site medical assistance.
  • The new partnership between Cancer Council NSW and AccorHotels (Ibis, Ibis Styles, Novotel, Mercure, The Sebel, Pullman, Quay West and Sofitel) will offer rooms in 62 AccorHotels properties close to treatment facilities in greater Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and other locations across NSW that do not have relevant patient accommodation facilities.
  • Cancer patients eligible for reduced rate rooms must be self-care patients who do not require on-site medical assistance. Patients who need medical assistance will be required to stay as a hospital in-patient or at other care-assisted accommodation. Through this partnership, Cancer Council NSW and AccorHotels will work with cancer patients to provide a range of accommodation choices based on the budget that is best for them.

Booking a room

  • Cancer patients who require accommodation are encouraged to visit the accommodation services page on Cancer Council NSW website https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/accommodation. Cancer patients or their carer will need to follow the below steps to complete a booking:
  • Complete the online accommodation request form, this will include entering your treatment centre and referring doctor’s name.
  • Relevant AccorHotels options, close to the treatment facility will then be recommended.
  • A confirmation email, which will be required when checking in, will be sent to the patient or carer making the booking.
  • A link will be provided via email to the special AccorHotels/CancerCouncilNSW booking page on the AccorHotels website.
  • Patients or carers with complex enquires or who require assistance with the booking form should call 13 11 20.

Information on Isolated Patients Transport and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS)

  • IPTAAS is a transport and accommodation subsidy scheme that financially assists people to access specialist medical treatment when it is not available in their local area.
  • IPTAAS is provided by NSW Health as part of their obligation to provide health care services for everyone in NSW.
  • If the patient is eligible for IPTAAS, they will be reimbursed for their AccorHotels room, in line with the commercial rates outlined as part of the government scheme.
  • For cancer patients in financial distress which may impact their decision to travel for treatment, Cancer Council NSW would encourage these patients to call 13 11 20 to talk about what options are available.

You are eligible for IPTAAS if you are:

  • an Australian citizen and a permanent resident of NSW or Lord Howe Island and hold a Medicare card
  • referred by a recognised, accredited medical practitioner for specialist medical treatment
  • needing to travel at least 100 km (one way) from home to attend treatment, or your combined trips to and from the specialist exceed 200kms/week
  • a carer who has been certified as being medically necessary by the medical practitioner or specialist.

You are not eligible for IPTAAS if:

  • you live within 100kms of appropriate treatment and are referred to that centre
  • you have had your costs covered by another agency (e.g. DVA, employer schemes, workers compensation, other insurance claim)
  • you travel by ambulance, air ambulance, other emergency transport or inter-facility transfer – you can still make a claim for other costs incurred
  • you are participating in a clinical trial
  • you use community transport to get to treatment.

For more information visit: http://www.enable.health.nsw.gov.au/home/iptaas or call Cancer Council NSW on 13 11 20.

Transport to Treatment

  • The AccorHotels accommodation footprint across Sydney ensures that the distance that cancer patients need to travel to their nearest treatment centre in Sydney will be minimal.
  • For help coordinating travel to assigned treatment facilities, Cancer Council NSW encourages patients to contact Cancer Council 13 11 20 Information and Support.
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