‘Cut­ting edge’ care

Can­cer strat­egy hailed as ‘most ad­vanced in Aus­tralia’

Isis Town and Country - - Health - By LEAH KIDD

PA­TIENTS fac­ing a can­cer di­ag­no­sis will be treated un­der a “cut­ting edge” plan to speed up can­cer de­tec­tion and treat­ment

The Can­cer Care Strate­gic Plan 2015-2018, re­leased by Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice last week, also makes note of the new 26 can­cer care chairs in two new fa­cil­i­ties, Bund­aberg and Her­vey Bay, as well as the em­ploy­ment of more spe­cial­ists, sur­geons and nurses.

Strong public-pri­vate part­ner­ships will ex­pand ser­vices and sup­port for those in can­cer treat­ment.

WBHHS chief ex­ec­u­tive Adrian Pen­ning­ton has hailed the plan as one of the most am­bi­tious and for­ward-think­ing in the na­tion.

“This is the most ad­vanced can­cer care strate­gic plan I’ve seen since com­ing to Aus­tralia,” Mr Pen­ning­ton said.

Un­der the plan, in cases where there is a high sus­pi­cion of can­cer, pa­tients will have their first spe­cial­ist ap­point­ment within 14 days un­der a “red re­fer­ral” sys­tem.

The plan also as­pires to de­liver ser­vices where pa­tients with a con­firmed can­cer di­ag­no­sis will have their first can­cer treat­ment or other man­age­ment within 30 days of the de­ci­sion to treat.

Ear­lier de­tec­tion, shorter wait­ing times, timely ac­cess to ef­fec­tive di­ag­no­sis, con­sis­tent high-qual­ity care, im­proved pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence and multi-level re­search are the six key goals of the plan.

WBHHS can­cer care ser­vice oper­a­tions di­rec­tor Ray John­son said the ser­vice as­pired to de­liver the high­est-qual­ity can­cer care, us­ing in­no­va­tive and ef­fi­cient clin­i­cal and man­age­ment prac­tices.

“We want to be recog­nised as a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence in re­gional and ru­ral can­cer care,” Mr John­son said.

“We will achieve this by bring­ing to­gether the best peo­ple, as teams, ded­i­cated to de­liv­er­ing the high­est-qual­ity pa­tient care, in ex­cel­lent clin­i­cal en­vi­ron­ments.”

Two new can­cer care fa­cil­i­ties cost­ing a to­tal of $35 mil­lion – one in Her­vey Bay and one in Bund­aberg – will bring can­cer care oper­a­tions un­der one roof and en­able bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween treat­ment part­ners, in­clud­ing video links to some of Aus­tralia’s top spe­cial­ists.

Four med­i­cal on­col­o­gists have been re­cruited by WBHHS, with the last of these ex­pected to have taken up the role by Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Three urol­o­gists are ex­pected to be ap­pointed by the end of 2015.

A prostate can­cer sup­port nurse has also been ap­pointed.

A part­ner­ship be­tween WBHHS and Ocea­nia On­col­ogy in Bund­aberg and Her­vey Bay has fur­ther en­hanced treat­ment op­tions, with Ocea­nia bring­ing new ex­per­tise to the area through the em­ploy­ment of ex­tra ra­di­a­tion on­col­o­gists.

Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land has also en­dorsed the plan, with CCQ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Pro­fes­sor Jeff Dunn of­fer­ing “un­re­served sup­port” for the vi­sion to be a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence in re­gional and ru­ral can­cer care.

“CCQ wel­comes the op­por­tu­nity to work with the WBHHS on all as­pects of this plan,” Prof Dunn said.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

CARE: WBHHS chief ex­ec­u­tive Adrian Pen­ning­ton, Jenny Kamst from Ocea­nia On­col­ogy and Jill Cheg­wid­den from the Can­cer Coun­cil of Queens­land at the launch of the Can­cer Care Strate­gic Plan.

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