Best practice cancer care requires the delivery of safe, accessible and high quality care.
In partnership with health services, the BSWRICS Service Development program supports planning and review of services to ensure the best possible outcomes and experiences for the community are delivered.
Better care coordination, streamlining of care pathways and strengthening the capacity of health services to provide treatment and support at a local level are areas of focus for the program.
Implementation of the Optimal Care Pathways.
Palliative Care & Advance Care Planning State-wide Scoping Project
Creation of an Online Navigation Tool for people with cancer, their families/carers & clinicians
Planning for the Great South Coast Community Cancer Expo 2021 (Inaugural expo held in 2019)
Andrew Love Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit Patient Flow Review Project
South West Healthcare Day Oncology Unit Review Project
Supporting implementation of the Cancer Council Victoria Education program
BSWRICS is committed to working with Health Services to increase the capacity and efficiency of multidisciplinary care across the Barwon South West region. Multidisciplinary care focuses on continuity of care, development of appropriate referral networks, and pathways for treatment and care.
Improved treatment planning
Improved communication and support between treating teams
Identification of supportive care needs for people with cancer
Improved coordination of services
Increased opportunities for recruitment to clinical trials
Reduction in service duplication
Cancer Multidisciplinary Meetings (MDMs) are regularly held across the region for a number of cancer types. These meetings support a team approach to treatment planning and ongoing care for newly diagnosed people with cancer as well as those requiring treatment plan reviews or palliative care.
Clinicians requiring further information on the MDM program please contact:
Phone: 03 4215 0462
De-identified information is used to regularly evaluate the multidisciplinary meetings as part of a commitment to continuous quality improvement as per the Victorian Cancer Service Performance Indicators.
Victoria's Cancer Plan 2016-2020 sets the direction and targets for cancer reforms. Cancer Plan Action Area 4: Wellbeing and Support is committed to the following priorities:
Strengthening supportive care and self-management
Supporting cancer survivors to recover and thrive
Maintaining quality of life through palliative care and end of life care
The supportive care policy outlines the strategic directions for supportive care services and provides a framework for achieving the Cancer Plan supportive care commitments. BSWRICS is working with regional Health Services to respond to the needs of patients and carers across the Barwon South West region.
Supportive Care is an umbrella term that encompasses five inter-related domains of care; physical, social, psychological, spiritual and information.
Cancer patients and their families may require support by a range of health disciplines to deal with the impact of their diagnosis. WeCan () is an Australian Supportive care website to help people affected by cancer find the information, resources and support services they may need following a diagnosis of cancer. The site provides easy access to resources, services and information developed by other organisations who specialise in cancer and community support.
The number of people living after completion of cancer treatment has increased due to advances in early detection and treatment, and as a result of the population living for longer.
Treatment teams at the cancer services across the Barwon South West region will discuss survivorship planning with people pre-, during and post-treatment, as relevant to the individual.
Helpful information and resources are available through:
Cancer Council Victoria
The Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre has developed information, resources and events to help people move from initial treatment to post treatment and beyond, including those receiving maintenance treatments. Whilst they do not provide clinical advice, they connect with a range of providers to enable improved care. Of particular interest to people living with cancer, their families and carers, is a directory of 'Common Survivorship Issues'.
Optimal Care Pathways
BSWRICS is currently working on a state-wide project focused on implementing the cancer Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs).
OCPs are a framework for consistent, safe, high-quality and evidence based care for people with cancer. As part of the OCP project, BSWRICS will be working with regional health services, clinicians and consumers to implement the recommendations outlined in the OCPs.
Communication with health professionals and consumers about OCP implementation will occur regularly via this webpage, the BSWRICS newsletter and email.
Exercise & Cancer
Recent research suggests that exercise benefits most people both during and after cancer treatment. It can help manage some of the common side effects of treatment, speed up a return to usual activities, and improve quality of life. The evidence also shows there is little risk of exercise causing harm if care is taken and professional exercise advice is followed closely. For some cancers, exercise may even improve treatment outcomes. People with cancer should be as physically active as their abilities and condition allow. (Ref. Exercise for people living with cancer, CCV)
The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) 'Position Statement on Exercise in Cancer Care' calls for: exercise to be embedded as part of standard practice in cancer care and to be viewed as an adjunct therapy that helps counteract the adverse effects of cancer and its treatment; all members of the multidisciplinary cancer team to promote physical activity and recommend that people with cancer adhere to exercise guidelines; and best practice cancer care to include referral to an accredited exercise physiologist or physiotherapist with experience in cancer care.
BSWRICS has helped develop an 'Exercise in Cancer Programs - Barwon South West' Directory containing information on exercise and cancer programs in the Barwon South West Region. The directory offers information on what programs are available, who they work with, and how to contact them. If you are looking for further information and resources please discuss with your health professional.
As part of strengthening the workforce in oncology, a series of educational webinars, presented by a range of academic experts, will be held from October 2020 to October 2021. Upcoming webinars focus on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, pain and cancer rehabilitation and axillary web syndrome (cording) in breast cancer
BSWRICS Annual Forum 2020: Cancer in the virtual world - the Barwon South West experience
The forum, held on Thursday 12 November 2020, features the following presentations:
Communication skills for cancer care via Telehealth
Professor Peter Martin, Professor of Clinical Communication & End of Life Care, School of Medicine, Deakin University
Delivering virtual oncology prehabilitation and rehabilitation
Catherine Williams, Oncology Rehabilitation Care Coordinator & Senior Clinician Physiotherapist, Oncology Rehabilitation Centre, Barwon Health
Teletrials: a new way to deliver clinical trials
Associate Professor Ian Collins, Medical Oncologist, South West Oncology Warrnambool & Deputy Regional Lead, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
Please email if you would like to view this presentation.
Exercise medicine assessment and prescription in management of patients with bone metastases
The presentation was provided by Professor Robert Newton, Professor of Exercise Medicine at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia.
Please email if you would like to view this presentation.
From Prehab to Rehab in Lung Cancer
The presentation was provided by Associate Professor Catherine Granger - Physiotherapist, University of Melbourne; Research Lead, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Victorian Cancer Agency Clinical Research Fellow. Please email for the password if you wish to view this presentation.
The Victorian Integrated Cancer Services are supported by the Victorian Government
The Victorian Integrated Cancer Services acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.
We are committed to safe and inclusive work places, policies and services for people of LGBTIQ communities and their families.