4th March 2021

We are delighted to announce we now have a part-time Bowel Care Nurse, thanks to a partnership with Bowel Cancer Australia. As of 9 February, Bloomhill nurse Kirsty Ferguson is performing this important role two days per week.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, approximately 2,889 Central Queensland and Sunshine Coast residents were diagnosed with bowel cancer between 2006 and 2010. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the region.

“We expect the appointment will contribute to improved outcomes and care coordination for local bowel cancer patients,” said Bowel Cancer Australia chief executive, Julien Wiggins.

“Over 80 per cent of Australian bowel cancer patients have indicated access to specialist nurses either over the phone or within hospital was preferred.

“Delivering better access to quality care is a priority for Bowel Cancer Australia and that’s why we are excited to be working with Bloomhill to support an inaugural bowel care nurse for the region.

In her Bowel Care Nurse role, Kirsty will be providing tailored support and care to clients diagnosed with bowel cancer.

“I will also be working on education programs within the community to raise awareness around bowel cancer prevention and early detection – something that I am excited and passionate about,” Kirsty said.

“Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer, but when detected early 99 per cent of cases can be successfully treated. We need to be at the forefront of that treatment, helping ensure clients get the best possible care.

“The educational aspect of the role is also going to be fantastic – it’s only a few weeks in and I’m already loving it. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve over the next couple of years.”

Bowel cancer survivor and former Bloomhill client Sally Kriel said she was excited to hear that Bloomhill is collaborating with Bowel Cancer Australia and secured funding for Queensland’s first Bowel Care Nurse.

“This is a huge win not only for the Sunshine Coast, but also the Australian bowel cancer community,” Sally said.

“Australia has one of the highest bowel cancer rates in the world, with 1 in 13 Australians developing the disease in their lifetime.”

Now a bowel cancer awareness advocate, Sally said many people with bowel cancer needed specialist support to help them to manage symptoms unique to their condition. These include ongoing changes to bowel habits, dietary and nutritional challenges, emotional and social strain, sexual dysfunction and support returning to work and their community.

“It’s great that bowel cancer patients within our community will have access to this crucial nursing role, in the same way that we have the amazing specialist McGrath, Prostate and Leukaemia nurses,” Sally said.

“Well done to the Bloomhill team and Bowel Cancer Australia for being a part of nursing history.”