28 May Evaluation of the Second McGrath Breast Cancer Nurse Initiative
HealthConsult evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of the Second Federal Government-Funded Breast Care Nurse Initiative which funded 57 McGrath Breast Cancer Nurses (MBCNs) across Australia.
Patients, MCBNs and other clinicians were interviewed and surveyed at a representative sample of 16 MBCN sites to understand the activities and impacts of MBCNs, and patients’ treatment experiences. Survey data was statistically analysed and a cost-benefit analysis undertaken.
The data showed that MBCN’s reduced the number of breast cancer patients in crisis, improved access to services, and reduced emergency department presentations and unplanned hospital admissions. Early contact with an MBCN was estimated to save the health system $6,000 per patient. However, capacity constraints meant that more than half of breast cancer patients came into contact with MBCNs late in their breast cancer experience where the initiative is 4-5 times less effective.
The findings were used as a basis for successful renewal of Commonwealth-funding for the 57 MBCNs for a further four years, and the recent $27 million announcements to train an additional 41 MBCNs over 2019–2022.