Helping to meet the demand for young cancer patient care.

The Oncology Service at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH) provides paediatric oncology care to patients aged 0-18 years from Queensland, Northern New South Wales and some children from the Northern Territory and sees close to 250 new patients each year.

A common issue encountered by these children is procedural anxiety, which can have long-lasting effects on the child’s mental health and overall functioning. In such cases, psychology plays a crucial role in providing support and intervention.

To assist in meeting the demand for cancer patient care, The Children’s Cancer Foundation funds a Paediatric Psychologist, as part of the Oncology Service at the Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH). Psychologists with specialised training are equipped to help children and their families navigate the trauma of diagnosis, treatment and subsequent adjustments to their lifestyle.

The presence of a dedicated psychology team has proven to be immensely beneficial for children and their families, from assisting with participation for demanding treatment regimens, gruelling rehabilitation and traumatic procedures, to managing emotional distress and providing strategies for coping with terminal illness, grief and bereavement.

Rebekah Hutch, Nurse Unit Manage of the 5c Oncology Day Unit at QCH acknowledges the invaluable contribution of the psychology service.

Having the psychology service operational within oncology services at the Queensland Children’s Hospital has benefited immensely the lives of children and their families living with cancer and other haematological conditions. The care and effort put in by the psychology team shows how this dedicated role provides an essential collaboration in the treatment journey of each child. Susan and the psychology team are truly an asset to our service, and we hope continued funding will allow this to continue well into the future.”

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