Cancer Council NSW has partnered with Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to launch an online Transport to Treatment booking system, ‘TRIPS’, across NSW with an aim to increase the current efficiency and future capacity of the cancer patient transport program.
Evidence shows that in NSW alone, an estimated 90,000 medical trips go unfulfilled each year. In recognition of this unmet need, Cancer Council’s Transport to Treatment service offers free transport to help cancer patients get to and from treatment. Last financial year, the service provided just under one million kilometres of transport and helped 2,361 cancer patients and carers get to treatment. The service is operated from local Cancer Council offices and until now local teams have manually managed their own booking and administration system.
TRIPS is an integrated, online booking system which will increase the reach, efficiency and effectiveness of the Transport to Treatment program. Funded by a $154,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, the system will mean that more patients in regional and rural NSW can access free, direct transport assistance to help reduce the burden of cancer.
Annie Miller, Director of Cancer Council’s Cancer Information and Support Services Division is excited about the growth potential presented by this new technology.
“Looking ahead, TRIPS’ ability to collect rich data will enable better evaluation, identification of key development opportunities, and ultimately maximise effectiveness of the Transport to treatment service. The new technology lays a strong foundation for expansion of additional services and more help for isolated cancer patients across NSW.” said Annie Miller.
“It is so encouraging to know that as we start to integrate the TRIPS platform, thanks to the generosity of Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, we can start to strategically expand the service and eventually ensure more cancer patients make it to treatment.”
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair, Phil Neat, said the Charitable Foundation was proud to offer funding for such an impactful project.
“Recent AIHW data shows that cancer mortality is highest in very remote areas and lowest in major cities, which is in part due to access to primary healthcare services”, said Phil Neat.
“The Charitable Foundation Board had no hesitation in funding this project as it so clearly addresses the disadvantage and marginalisation of people in regional NSW communities by increasing access to much-needed health services.”
Phillipa Hudson is an indigenous woman of the Bundjalung people living in Toormina NSW and currently going through treatment for advanced breast cancer which has metastasised to her bones. She would be unable to make her regular treatment appointments without the Transport to Treatment service.
“At this point in my treatment, I’m unable to drive and don’t have the extra money lying around to pay for a taxi to get to treatment twice a week,” said Phillipa Hudson.
“It’s such a relief to know that Cancer Council NSW is there to support me through this time. Knowing that I don’t have to worry about getting myself to treatment and that I’ll be able to have a friendly conversation with my driver makes my life just that little bit easier.”