Primary content

Authors

C Adams (Lead)

D Sue

D Bellamy

F Ord

J Tuart

J Conning

T Proietto

B Kelly

Aims

  1. Improve team connections between rural, remote and metropolitan teams, including GP, community, Aboriginal health and acute care providers through development of local interdisciplinary and cross sectoral networks to support the MOC using existing services.
  2. Provide skills based Psycho-Oncology training for all rural and remote health care providers.
  3. Introduce technology to enhance Psycho-Oncology care provision.
  4. Work individually with local Aboriginal Health Services to ensure understanding of Aboriginal cultural and health issues within the framework of the MOC.

Method

Networks were identified via rural cancer treatment centres (Armidale, Taree, Moree and Muswellbrook). Local workshops were held to identify need and service provision options and availability. Training in building effective partnerships and communication skills was held in Tamworth and Newcastle. Participants were asked about willingness to participate in telehealth options to improve care within existing resources.

Results

The network development workshops included 44 attendees (GP’s, LHD staff, NGO’s, private practitioners, support groups, charities and academics) and 29 people completed the partnership/communication skills training. Disciplines included oncology nursing, social work, radiation therapy, palliative care, occupational therapy, and clinical trials and management. Evaluations were very positive and will be described qualitatively and quantitatively. The most tangible development is the Armidale network developed website called “New England Cancer Connect”.

Implications

Interdisciplinary partnerships in patient care play a crucial role in developing sustainable patient centred psychosocial care. The stepped MOC and heath pathway are easily adapted to reflect local and external resources including teleheath. Significantly improved patient support networks and inter/multi-disciplinary communication and coordination can be achieved through efficient resource usage and engagement with GP’s, NGO’s, private practitioners and charities in local communities. This MOC and health pathway could be applied across NSW Health and beyond.