A special announcement was made at Mount Isa's gala event, the Ronald McDonald Ball, last night as a sold out crowd learned the Ronald McDonald House Charities will be piloting a program at Mount Isa Base Hospital in 2019.
The unique program specifically address the needs of seriously ill North West Queensland children and their families.
The RMHC Hospital Care Cart, an Australian first, will be launched in partnership with Mount Isa Base Hospital and will provide practical support and comfort to the North West community in four critical ways.
Firstly, by offering boredom-busters such as books, craft activities and entertainment for patients, siblings and their parents, as well as learning activities and resources with a patient focus, to help reduce the educational impact of missing learning milestones.
Secondly, psycho-social care by offering well-being checks to the children's wards and clinics within the hospital to help decrease feelings of isolation for families and children in hospital.
The program will also provide practical care items such as toiletries and comfort items including eye masks, earplugs and socks for parents sleeping bedside, and provide snacks, meals and beverages.
Chairman of RMHC North Australia Paul Rissman said this is an extremely exciting time for the Charity in the North.
"While we've been supporting North West families through our four core programs, we're so pleased to be able to celebrate with the Mount Isa community this brand new program specifically addressing the needs of the community."
The Chief Executive of the North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS), Lisa Davies Jones, said the cart was an exciting initiative for Mount Isa Hospital.
"It's something completely different, and we are looking forward to seeing the impact it will have on our child patients and their families.
"Anything that contributes to patient safety and comfort is a bonus and we are very grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities for this innovative gift.
"Some of our patients have to spend an extended time in hospital, often away from their own communities and to be able to give patients and caregivers a few treats and comfort items will definitely make their stay more enjoyable," Ms Davies Jones said.
Last year, 47 families from the North West region stayed at Ronald McDonald House in Townsville while their child received critical medical care, for a combined 1, 111 nights. The average length of stay for these families is two to three months.
The in-hospital Care Cart will be supported by volunteers from the Mount Isa Community, and the Charity will seek volunteers, sponsors and funders to support getting this new program up and running later this year.
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