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BCNA's Helpline refocus - some changes being made to the Helpline



  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 4,021
    Many thanks for the response. 
  • Cath62Cath62 Brisbane Member Posts: 933
    Thanks for responding. Maybe sharing some data on the helpline and call volumes and topics or some of the analysis around the decision or a summary of what ever report was done would help members understand this better. Appreciate that might be somewhat hard but context is something that really helps in these situations and I don't think the email communication covered it enough for some members. 
  • June1952June1952 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,525
    Ladies - does everyone feel the above explanation and the changes are what BCNA members need ?????
  • brightspacebrightspace Member Posts: 416

     A somewhat disappointing response

    Sorry but no details have been given

    Could a list of areas that the helpline is offerring to assist with be supplied to our members
    There are many areas documented on pages of info that we can access that address the helpline
    So there will need to be a lot or editing of documents

    If Breast cancer assistance is the function of this organisation..then please clarify the function of the helpline

    Has it been completly removed.?

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,371
    edited July 2021
    Thank you for responding .... Sorry - but the  lack of Funding for the Mets Counselling Service was never mentioned in the email as being the reason for it being ‘dropped’ ...  so does this mean that ‘if’ funding became available again, the Mets Counselling Service will be reinstated? If not, why not?  Was the funding from a specific ‘outside source’? Are they aware of the importance of an in-house service to those with Mets? Or was it allocated from BCNA’s ‘pool of money’ from donations and fund raising?  

    With up to 30% of us going on to develop Mets - the numbers needing ‘Mets help’ will only be increasing... so the in-house Mets Counselling Service then becomes even more vital as a support tool for members.  

    I think that many members feel that, given their posts on BCNA, that the Mods/Counsellors can ‘research’ the members background even as they are speaking with them (or they may even have followed their journey so are already aware of their distress) and can provide support with the added knowledge that they have gained background on, from the blog.  

    For someone to ring the helpline, (after finally getting the courage to pick up the phone ...) hoping for support, only to be given another phone number to ring  and then to have to explain their situation right from the start ... AGAIN ...  would be very distressing and it could even tip some very fragile people ‘over the edge’ .... 

    It it seems to me that the heart of the ‘Helpline’ (as seen by members) has been ripped out with these changes.

    I think, really, that I am just very disappointed (as are other members) that there wasn’t any community discussion or member input into these decisions - the decisions were made behind closed doors with faceless ‘consultants’ ....  which probably would have cost as much as 12 months of the Mets Counselling Service!
  • brightspacebrightspace Member Posts: 416
    Thankyou @AllyJay and @arpie
    for detailing your personal need for asssistance

    Giovanna's skill and depth of understanding and knowledge is the most imporrant reason for Bcna helpline
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 5,207
    edited July 2021
    I too have had help from Giovanna.  I commented earlier it takes courage to feel comfortable to natter online and ring the Helpline. 
    Giovanna was certainly appreciated by us, the forum users.   
    I was fortunate enough to meet her at the G fund-raiser in 2018.

    I interacted well with Cossette and Marianne, previous BCNA staffers and met Marianne at a BCNA function at Ballarat. 

    Checking the spelling of Marianne's name I found this post
    "Breast Care Nurses - Page 3 — BCNA Online Network" https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/comment/131866#Comment_131866

    This highlights the ongoing issue for us and the lack of continuity in who is looking after the online forum and Helpline undermines the confidence 

  • brightspacebrightspace Member Posts: 416
    Now totally disappointed to read another Metastatic poster in need if support  has been unable to speak to a bcna helpline support person
    Other contacts were unable to provide help
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,371
    I am SO sorry to hear that @brightspace - it really is NOT good enough :(   

    That would have been soul destroying for that person.  xx

  • June1952June1952 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,525
    Well, well, well - I am a bit slow.  I had no idea that @Giovanna_BCNA was a casualty of this change and I am absolutely disgusted.  BCNA has had some changes and none of them appear to be for the good.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 4,021
    I appreciate everyone's concerns and I have no idea what the terms of employment are for staff (nor is it any of my business) but most organisations must work within agreed budgets, unless they want to get into serious trouble! The Consumer Representatives have an input to decision making, about staff, programs and priorities, but at the end of the day, neither they nor members of the network are responsible for making those decisions - that's the CEO and the Board. In many areas, including health, programs and staff are funded by special project grants or by funding which is not ongoing. Best to approach the Board or the CEO if specific information is wanted but the request may need to be very specific.
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