Mornington Peninsula residents will benefit from having more specially trained nurses at The Bays Hospital in Mornington, following the launch of The Bays Nursing and Midwifery Education Fund.

The Fund – a partnership between Mornington Rotary Club and The Bays Hospital – will support The Bays nurses to undertake specialised training, which not-for-profit hospitals and nurses can struggle to fund.

Mornington Rotary has made an initial donation of $25,000 to the Fund and invites members of the community to also contribute and support their local community hospital.

CEO of The Bays Hospital, Jade Phelan, said: “We are thrilled to have had the support of Mornington Rotary Club over many years, and have worked with them over the last year to identify the most worthy project for them to support into the future. Nurse education is certainly that.”

“We have had a long relationship with our community hospital and are so pleased to support this initiative,” said incoming President of Mornington Rotary Club, Pam Hall.

“The funds raised from our annual Mornington Art Show have enabled us to do this and we thank all the sponsors, artists, and visitors that make it such a success.”

As examples of how the Fund will be used, Director of Nursing at The Bays, Kellie Bamberry said “We currently have a shortage of trained stomal therapy nurses on the Peninsula, and the training required for this costs around $12,000, so this will be a great boost.”

“A stoma is a small opening in the abdomen that is used to remove body waste into a collection bag (colostomy/ileostomy bag), which can be required after treatment for bowel cancer. Stomal therapy nurses provide specialist and individual care to patients living with colostomies and ileostomies.”

“Stomal therapy nurses play a vital role in supporting patients with cancer or following cancer treatment, which is something The Bays is very passionate about,” said Ms Bamberry.

“Our next project, which I am personally very passionate about is in providing training for nurses to care for patients living with lymphoedema. Access to lymphoedema specialist nurses is challenging on the Peninsula, so having this service available at The Bays would be of great benefit to Peninsula residents and hospital patients.”

The first scholarship through the Fund was recently awarded to nurse, Ms Justine Killen, who is a Registered Nurse at The Bays and is currently completing the post graduate stomal therapy course.

Community members interested in donating to the Nurse Education Fund should email or call 5970 5329.