People power prevails as city wins breast care nurse

IN THE ultimate show of people power, Tamworth has won its hard-fought campaign to secure a McGrath Foundation breast care nurse.

The city – spearheaded by the volunteer-run Serendepity committee – has fought for a breast care nurse for five years.

In January, Glenn McGrath revealed that Tamworth would not be getting the services of a McGrath Nurse “in the foreseeable future”.

But on Monday, the Test great fronted North West Cancer Centre and announced a new 0.8FTE position will be based there, with funding already in place to support the role for at least three years.

It was welcomed news for health workers and the community but more importantly, for the patients and their families who will directly benefit from the decision.

The community has poured countless hours into fundraising for the McGrath Foundation over the years. 

There was obvious disappointment when the region failed to secure one in January. 

But the city has remained stalwart in its desire to win the invaluable service of such a nurse. 

Serendipity brought to the community’s attention how much fundraising the McGrath Foundation was able to do in the local region, and yet had still been denied a breast care nurse.

It was then revealed the foundation’s offer of a half-time nurse in January was declined by “community and business stakeholders”.

It was a move that paid off as the McGrath Foundation went back to the negotiating table and quickly came up with the accepted offer of a 0.8FTE role.

The decision shows that people power wins out. 

When a community is passionate and devoted to fighting for a cause, great things happen.

The role will join one in Moree and Armidale, adding to the multi-disciplinary team that services the whole North West region.

McGrath Foundation CEO Petra Buchanan said that the three-year commitment to funding the role is more than $300,000, which will be sourced solely through donations to the charity.

Having such a specialist role in the region is a huge shot in the arm for the community and the health sector. 

Tamworth already boasts an amazing facility in the North West Cancer Centre. 

Securing a McGrath Foundation breast care nurse is only going to complement that.

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