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Help the Royal North Shore Hospital haematology team become FACT accredited

The Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapies (FACT) is an internationally recognised accrediting body which outlines the audit procedure which hospitals and medical institutions must undergo before they are able to offer stem cell transplants on site. 

FACT accreditation is an internationally recognised program. It involves quality management and an audit that monitors the process that medical facilities use to collect blood cells and stem cells. Further to this, the correct storage of the cells before administering or modifying them to create a novel cell product – such as CAR-T cells. The FACT program also audits all aspects of cellular therapy patient care from diagnosis through to long-term survivorship.

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“If getting FACT accreditation for the hospital can deliver better health outcomes and improve the experience for future patients, I see it as my duty to donate and tell as many people as possible.”

Click here to read Mark’s story: ‘My surprising blood cancer diagnosis and why I’m now supporting the FACT accreditation project’

Why FACT accreditation is important

When Royal North Shore Hospital gets FACT accreditation, patients won’t need to be referred to other hospitals and won’t suffer delays in their treatment. Being FACT accredited will also mean the team can participate in clinical trials, which can offer other therapies and cancer treatment options to patients. Currently, the haematology team is missing out on this significant opportunity, which could be offering better patient care options and saving lives.

What FACT accreditation will help us achieve

FACT accreditation will enable Royal North Shore Hospital to participate in clinical trials and therefore offer cancer patients the latest treatment options available.  Due to the international recognition FACT accreditation offers, patients will be offered therapy and treatment options onsite at Royal North Shore Hospital, which currently sees over 100 patients per year for transplants. The hospital itself treats around 1,500 cancer patients a year.   

With only two other hospitals in Sydney being FACT accredited, for the team, this will mean they will no longer need to refer patients elsewhere and can continue with the clinician and patient journey together.   

What is FACT?

The Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapies (FACT) is an internationally recognised accrediting body which outlines the audit procedure which hospitals and medical institutions must undergo before they are able to offer stem cell transplants on site.

FACT accreditation is an internationally recognised program. It involves quality management and an audit that monitors the process that medical facilities use to collect blood cells and stem cells. Further to this, the correct storage of the cells before administering or modifying them to create a novel cell product – such as CAR-T cells. The FACT program also audits all aspects of cellular therapy patient care from diagnosis through to long-term survivorship.

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The Haematology and Transfusion Medicine Team

The Haematology and Transfusion Medicine Department at Royal North Shore Hospital is one of the busiest stem cell transplant centres in Australia and already has the necessary infrastructure to support FACT accreditation. 

The team routinely performs clinical and laboratory functions as part of our haematopoietic stem cell transplantation role. The infrastructure to perform these procedures is currently in place with a large cell collection centre (apheresis unit) within the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre. The team has a stem cell laboratory for analysis and storage of cell products (prior to infusion) within the department as well as a stem cell lab in the Kolling Building, which is attached to the hospital. This team of experts has the ambition to participate in cutting edge clinical trials and routinely offer patients access to novel immune cell-based treatment options – these clinical trials could expand upon current treatment pathways available and provide additional treatment options to patients in the future.

In 2021, the team performed: 

47

Allogeneic transplants (where the patient receives healthy blood-forming cells (stem cells) from a donor to replace their own stem cells)

67

Autologous transplants (which use healthy blood stem cells from your own body to replace your diseased or damaged bone marrow)

7

Donor lymphocyte infusions (the transfusion of donor white cells into patients)

On average the team treats more than 100 cancer patients a year. 

“It’s not just you that gets diagnosed – it’s your whole family and everyone that loves you. I wouldn’t be here without the team at Royal North Shore Hospital and the more funding we can get for this department, the more of us can survive and that’s pretty special.”

Click here to read Charlotte’s story: My experience with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and how the haematology team saved my life

Meet some of the haematology team

William Stevenson

Dr William Stevenson is the Head of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH). He is the Supervising Pathologist of the Cytogenetic and Molecular Haematology Laboratories, NSW Health Pathology at RNSH. 

Matthew Greenwood

Associate Professor Matthew Greenwood is the Director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program. He is co-chair of the Acute Leukaemia Working Party and has been an investigator on a number of clinical trials in haematological malignancy and stem cell transplantation.

Johanna Guest

Johanna is the Bone Marrow Transplant Coordinator. She assists with the appointment of the nurse and in clinical protocol development.

Ian Kerridge

Dr Ian Kerridge is a Senior Staff Haematologist and BMT physician and is Director of the Apheresis and Stem Cell Collection service. Ian’s research is focused on the late effects of BMT, multiple myeloma, graft-versus host disease, stem cell mobilisation and the experience of adolescents and young adults undergoing BMT. 

Chris Ward

Dr Chris Ward is a staff specialist in the team and the Director of Research for the Department. Chris’ clinical interests are around coagulation and bleeding disorders, Haematological malignancies, and Multiple Myeloma 

Nonie Ferrer

Nonie is the Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Apheresis Centre. She is responsible for coordinating and facilitating stem cell collection.

How much would you like to donate?

Your gift will have a tangible impact and improve community well-being by supporting innovative health research and the delivery of exceptional patient care.

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