SHORT information videos are breaking down healthcare barriers across the wider Grampians region for Ballarat Health Services' prostate care specialists.
BHS aims to try and inform general practitioners about the latest in prostate cancer treatment options in a face-to-face forum to better promote smoother collaboration for patients.
Like all healthcare, prostate care services have had to adapt in getting the right information to clinicians and patients amid COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Ballarat-based prostate care nurse Gay Corbett said a suite of raw region-focused informative videos for GPs was actually reaching further across Ballarat and into the region with doctors able to review content when it suited them best, find relevant parts to share with patients and friendly faces in the videos helped too.
"Seeing faces of local clinicians has meant they can show patients as well - this is who you might see - and gives ideas for people about what it's going to be like," Ms Corbett said.
"We couldn't put on an information session this year and really GPs have enough changes to deal with...We wanted GPs to know we're all in this together. We want to be inclusive in getting the info out there and try to help."
Ms Corbett said there was not any part of healthcare not impacted in adjusting treatment some ways so the videos aimed to put out any changes or key details in a user-friendly way.
But when it came to patients, Ms Corbett said the toughest challenge amid the pandemic had been uncertainty for men in dates for procedures with a shortage of beds and doctors, if they were unwell.
"Not getting face-to-face with patients is more difficult with dates changing...It's important to still just talk to people," Ms Corbett said.
"Sometimes the anxiety part with prostates is men just wanting to check in and make sure they are doing the right thing, especially with COVID-19."
It's important to still just talk to people.Gay Corbett, Ballarat-based prostate care nurse
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia this month announced a new prostate care nurse to be based in Horsham, teaming with Ms Corbett to help guide men across western Victoria through their cancer journey.
Ms Corbett, who had solely worked the whole region, said this helped both cover more men and work closely with Wimmera-based healthcare.
BHS Base Hospital was Australia's first public hospital to access the less-invasive transperineal grid prostate biopsy system, four years ago, thanks to Male Bag Foundation. Male Bag has since done fundraising to deliver the system to other regional hospitals, including Warrnambool and Bendigo.
The Foundation gifted BHS a care last year to help ferry men from as far as the Wimmera to Ballarat to access the biopsy machine.
Ms Corbett said it was heartening to see staff across BHS had been jumping in to help where they could, including driving the patient cars, with BHS' regular volunteer fleet unable to work during the pandemic.
She urged everyone to remain invested in their healthcare, despite limited face-to-face contact.
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