New clinic helping bladder cancer patients

Patients undergoing treatment for bladder cancer are benefitting from a new nurse-led clinic at Ipswich Hospital that is providing care closer to home.

Clinic nurses have been specially trained in the delivery of the Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine, originally developed to treat tuberculosis but since found to be an effective treatment for bladder cancers.

Ipswich Hospital's new Bacillus Calmette Guerin clinic is helping patients with bladder cancer

The vaccine works by stimulating the body’s own natural defences to stop or delay the cancer returning in patients who meet the clinical criteria. 

After an initial course of BCG, patients begin a maintenance program that can last several years.

The clinic, which opened in October, streamlines patient care by accepting patients directly on referral from the hospital’s Urology Specialist Outpatient Department.

Patients have received more than 100 treatments at the clinic since it opened.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Hannah Bloch said the Bacillus Calmette Guerin clinic was an innovative concept that could provide the blueprint for how similar types of services are delivered in future.

“Utilising the nurse-led model of care, the clinic helps ensure people with bladder cancer are provided with timely, efficient treatment,” she said.

“All clinic nurses have undertaken extensive training to deliver the required care, with the clinic helping to take some of the stress out of treatment while also alleviating pressure on urology services.

“We know many of the patients have taken comfort in the continuity of care offered at the clinic, with nurses often assigned to the same patient for the duration of their treatment.

"As always, my thanks go out to our hard-working health staff for bringing this concept to life and making it a success."