QBE and Cancer Council launch new service

QBE and Cancer Council have launched a new Transport to Treatment service to ease patient transport burden.

The new service, being launched in Newcastle today, will be coordinated by Cancer Council volunteers and will provide free, on-call transport to and from treatment centres for patients ensuring they arrive in comfort and at no cost.

Staff from QBE’s Newcastle branch have been working towards making this service a reality for more than two years, raising more than $20,000 through donations, fundraising events as well as a community grant from the QBE Foundation, the insurer’s charitable arm.

QBE Foundation chairperson Sally Kincaid said it was so pleasing to see the team’s efforts deliver such a valuable community service. “We are incredibly proud to be able to provide a service that will have such a positive impact on people in the community who really need our support,” Kincaid said.

“The fact that the majority of these funds have been raised by our own team members based here in Newcastle is such a credit to the team.”

Cancer Council Hunter Region Manager Shayne Connell said the new transport service will help reduce stress associated with a cancer diagnosis.

“This new service will help alleviate that stress and also help patients who need to attend appointments or treatment outside regular hours. We know current transport services are at capacity and there are limited options for patients who need assistance after hours,” explained Mr Connell.

Rikki Hickey, a project manager in the QBE Newcastle branch and part of the community committee behind the fundraising said the initiative had been a two-year goal for the team.

“We’ve supported the Cancer Council for several years and it was at our annual cheque handover in 2014 that the Transport to Treatment concept was discussed and as soon as we heard about it, we knew we wanted to make this a reality.”

The Transport to Treatment service will be available from the end of March and will be coordinated by the Cancer Council regional office in Charlestown which can be contacted on 4923 0700.