Clinical Trials Nurses positions

Towards the end of 2011 we became aware that the number of clinical trial positions across NSW will be reduced and the effect on South West Sydney Local Health District will be to reduce their number to “up to 4 FTE staff”. Even if four positions do continue, this still represents a major reduction from the current seven positions and will mean a cut of two positions at Liverpool and one at Campbelltown.

A letter from the CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow, to the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre has announced this reduction. The full text of Prof. Currow’s letter can be downloaded as a pdf document.

Prof. Currow letter Prof. Currow letter (383 KB)

We found, however, that an earlier statement, issued jointly by Prof. Currow and Dr Andrew Penman, CEO Cancer Council NSW put the issue in a slightly different perspective. Firstly, the program had ended at the completion of the five-year funding agreement and no renewal had been negotiated. Secondly, the co-sponsorship by Cancer Council NSW represented only 18% of the total funds for the clinical trials program. The full text of their joint statement can be downloaded as a pdf document.

Joint letter Joint letter (129 KB)

Because of the likely negative effects on our local program for the support of clinical trial participants and on the future recruitment of further participants, the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee has written to Prof. Currow to seek an urgent reconsideration of the decision in our particular case. The full text of the Committee’s letter can be downloaded as a Word document.

Clinical Trials letter Clinical Trials letter (150 KB)

The Committee did receive the following response from Prof. Currow. His letter can be downloaded as a pdf document.
However, a close reading of this response will show that, while it refers to a process of sharing reductions across the State, it nowhere addresses our major issue, namely : that the cutback to four positions involves a reduction of 42% in staffing for the SWSLHD and that this does not appear to be an equitable sharing of the reductions across the state.