Warrnambool’s cancer centre has become the first Victorian regional site to offer free survivorship training to health care professionals.
GP’s, practice nurses and community-based allied health professionals are being offered clinical placements within the Ryot Street venue as part of a commitment to cancer care.
The funded program includes supervised placements hosted by the city’s specialist oncology team.
South West Regional Cancer Centre (SWRCC) joins eight metropolitan hospitals in offering the program until April 2019.
By attending up to three specialist clinics and multi-disciplinary team meetings, participants can complete the program aimed at improving knowledge and confidence in caring for cancer survivors.
South West Healthcare cancer link nurse Sharna Purcell said the placement offer was a commitment to quality cancer care in the region.
“We are the only regional area in Victoria to offer this,” she said. “With our advancements in treatment, people are living longer with cancer and this is part of how we can support survivors better.
“It’s also about empowering patients after their treatment too, and it goes to show there’s a lot of commitment to this survivorship program here in Warrnambool.”
South West Oncology physician Dr Ian Collins said the placement would better assist medical practitioners and their relationships with patients.
“One of the rules of survivorship is to de-medicalise the whole treatment,” he said. “We know that by taking it out of hospitals and hospital-type places, that people are more likely to respond to it better.
“It’s also a way strengthening the relationship between specialists and GP’s and allowing patients to take back control and return to normal as much as possible.”