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Poster Abstracts

The Regional Outreach and Shared Care Program – a formalised shared care model for children and adolescents with cancer

Authors:

Chris Williams ,

Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service, Parkville, VIC, AU
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Nicole Sirianni,

Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service, Parkville, VIC, AU
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Amy Shelly,

Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service, Parkville, VIC, AU
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Belinda Zambello

Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service, Parkville, VIC, AU
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Abstract

Introduction

The Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) aims to promote a cohesive, integrated, coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to the provision of cancer services in Victoria, Australia.

Approximately 30% of Victorian paediatric cancer patients live in a regional or rural location. Access to cancer treatment and supportive care services can be challenging for families living outside of metropolitan Melbourne. Many regional families have to travel long distances, and experience significant disruptions to social, education and workforce participation.

Description of practice change implemented

In 2005, the PICS, Monash Health (MH) and The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), sought a grant from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, to establish a Regional Outreach and Shared Care Program (ROSCP). 

After extensive consultation, the PICS developed a formalised shared care model for children and adolescents with cancer, inclusive of an inaugural Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MH, RCH and regional health services. 

Aim and theory of change

The ROSCP aims to facilitate care for regional paediatric cancer patients, and their families, as close to home as possible, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

The initial focus of the program was on defining stakeholder responsibilities, and mechanisms required for the provision of coordinated, high quality care to regional patients and families; and building capacity and capability of the regional health service staff.

Targeted population

The ROSCP focuses on paediatric patients with a cancer diagnosis who live in regional Victoria.

Timeline

The program commenced in 2006, with formal agreements now in place with nine regional health services.  Further enhancements to the shared care model have been implemented over time, with the publication of a Service Capability Framework, provision of a fit-for-purpose regional chemotherapy service, dedicated outreach clinics and the integration of telemedicine initiatives.

Highlights

In 2018-19, the program delivered 336 telehealth encounters, 86 regional chemotherapy administrations, and 176 regional outreach clinic appointments; to 194 individuals. 

In 2017, a new three-year MOU was signed between participating clinicians and executives, formally recognising the role shared paediatric cancer care plays in Victoria.

Sustainability

Operational sustainability is dependent on the part-time employment of a Clinical Nurse Educator and a Regional Nurse Coordinator.

Transferability

The shared care model, formal agreements, processes and service capability framework have applicability both conceptually and practically in other health areas, beyond paediatric oncology.

Conclusions

The ROSCP has achieved 13 years of success, and has proven to deliver improved care experiences and outcomes for regional patients via a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach.

Discussions

In addition to patient care, nursing and medical staff are supported via regional education sessions, training forums and medical information dinners. This component of the program is integral to its success.

Lessons learned

The development of the Service Capability Framework has provided clear guidelines to support both the tertiary cancer centres and the regional shared care centres to plan, develop and deliver safe and effective paediatric cancer care within an agreed regional scope of practice. This program demonstrates the utility of frameworks to guide the scope of services; and support service and workforce planning.

How to Cite: Williams C, Sirianni N, Shelly A, Zambello B. The Regional Outreach and Shared Care Program – a formalised shared care model for children and adolescents with cancer. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;20(S1):187. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.s4187
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Published on 26 Feb 2021.

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