Esperance hosts telehealth first

New technology: Esperance Health Campus physiotherapists Kendall Foulds and Megan Luxton. Photo: Supplied.
New technology: Esperance Health Campus physiotherapists Kendall Foulds and Megan Luxton. Photo: Supplied.

An Esperance resident was one of the first patients in Australia to benefit from a new Telehealth trial.

The trial led by WA Country Health Service and Fiona Stanley Hospital, aims to make breast cancer care more accessible to women in Esperance and Katanning.

The trial targets lymphoedema which causes swelling, pain and discomfort as a side effect of cancer treatment.

As part of the project, a physiotherapist or occupational therapist assesses the patient in Esperance, with a specialist from Fiona Stanley Hospital providing supervision via video conferencing.

Esperance local Jan Ramsden was one of the first patients to take part in the trial after suffering from lymphoedema for many years after her breast cancer treatment.

Mrs Ramsden said she had seen positive results from the trial.

"The thought of receiving care from a TV screen with someone all the way over in Perth made me feel nervous but I'm so glad I did it," she said.

"I learnt new things about my condition and about different garments that I could wear to help me and by my second telehealth appointment I wasn't nervous at all, it's an amazing service.

"This trial has saved me the stress and expense of travelling to Perth that honestly, we just can't afford."

Results from the Esperance and Katanning trials will be used to inform the expansion of the service to other hospitals across the state.