Monday March 30th 2020

**MEDIA RELEASE, MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR** 

Bloomhill Cancer Care’s Board has implemented drastic new safeguards to ensure its mission-critical cancer care and support services can continue in the face of COVID-19. These safeguards follow a Board Meeting held on Thursday evening March 26th.

Regrettably, effective immediately, the majority of operational staff have been stood down without pay. This includes the Chief Executive Officer Chris Franck.

“I can assure the entire Sunshine Coast community, that this decision has not been made lightly.” Chairperson of the Bloomhill Board, Michelle McGrath said.

“Thanks to a grant received in 2019 from the Hon Greg Hunt, Australian Minister for Health, our nurse’s salaries continue to be safe for as long as Bloomhill can remain financially viable.”

 “Our mission-critical cancer care and support services will continue to be delivered to people living with cancer across the Sunshine Coast – who are extremely vulnerable right now.”

 “Medicare MBS funding available, means all clients with a Mental Health Care Plan will also continue to have access to psychological support services via telehealth - with no out of pocket expense. This is incredibly important for the mental health of those self-isolating right now.”

 “We have made the difficult decision to suspend all op shop trade.  The majority of our op shop staff and volunteers are in the high-risk category to COVID-19, and with the significant decline in trade we believe it was in the best interests of our community to close the op shops.

“We take very seriously our duty of care to our wonderful staff and amazing volunteers.

 “We have further made the heart-breaking decision to stand down 37 of our operational staff, effective immediately. Only a few ‘business critical’ roles have been retained.

Critical to Bloomhill’s survival is safeguarding its very limited cash flow position.

“We are doing everything in our power to ensure that our staff have jobs to come back to after this public health crisis is over. “

For the time being, Bloomhill’s volunteer-resourced transport department will continue to chauffer existing clients to and from their life-saving cancer treatment – albeit critical movements only and under strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols and procedures.

“Our Board are doing everything we can to fight COVID-19 head on. We are so grateful for the philanthropic support we have received to our Emergency Appeal so far – this is what is keeping us going right now.

“We hope that all levels of Government will also stand alongside us as we struggle to retain our essential support services.  We are in dire need of financial support, and our Sunshine Coast community deserves support from us all.”

DONATE TO OUR EMERGENCY APPEAL

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