Service Improvement Grants
For the past few years, GRICS has funded Gippsland health services to initiate service improvement projects that will positively impact the patient’s cancer experience within their communities. To be involved, health services submit an expression of interest. Health services are approved on the grounds their project complies with priority areas set out by the Victorian Cancer Plan, GRICS Strategic Plan 2017-20 and Optimal Care Pathways. Due to the grants success, projects have commenced for 2020-2021.
Completed Projects Funded By The Service Improvement Grants
Gippsland Cancer Care Connections
Improving the urgent discharge experience for palliative care patients with cancer
Having the difficult conversation / communication skills training for all health professionals
Pre-implementation of enhanced recovery after bowel surgery (ERAS) for major bowel surgery in bowel cancer patients
Mitomycin installation following transuretheral resection of bladder tumors (TURBT)
Supporting cancer survivors
Integrated model to improve self-management of those living with cancer as a chronic illness: enabling and empowering clients
Implementation of the care plan for the dying person
Oncology Rehabilitation Program
Oncology Inpatient Discharge Planning Review
Community Ambassador Program
The Community Ambassador Program involves consumers who have had a cancer diagnosis presenting their experience to community groups for free.
The aim of the Community Ambassador Program is to assist people to feel more confident in dealing with cancer by building health literacy, motivating people to take an active role in regards to their health and informing people of reputable supports available when dealing with cancer and how to access them.
If you are a member of a community group or work place and would like a Community Ambassador to speak to your group, please contact GRICS.
Phone: 03 5128 0138
GRICS Consumer Reference Group
The GRICS Consumer Reference Group (CRG) is a key component of the GRICS Consumer Engagement Strategy. It was established in 2010 and has matured to provide a unique perspective reflecting on what services our community might value and anticipate. Its members offer a valued and meaningful contribution to the projects GRICS undertake across the region.
Consumer participation acknowledges and values the input of patients, carers and community members who have experienced the cancer journey. GRICS is committed to ensuring the CRG is a positive, information sharing partnership. As such, CRG members inform GRICS about the needs of local cancer patients and any gaps in service delivery they identify and share any pertinent information and knowledge garnered from the meetings across their local community networks. Membership is open to anyone with a lived experience of cancer, including carers.
For more information, please contact Michelle or Hayley at GRICS on 03 5128 0138 or send an email using the button below.
The Gippsland Cancer Survivorship Program was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2016 to undertake a 3-year project. The project was an initiative due to the increasing number of cancer survivors in Gippsland.
The project was a collaboration between Gippsland Regional Integrated Cancer Service, Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH), Monash University, Gippsland Primary Health Network, Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) and Gippsland Southern Health Service (GSHS).
A component of the project was the development of a survivorship nurse led clinic that was designed to capture, coordinate and refine the model of care Gippsland patients require. This was also aimed to extend cancer services as a whole, therefore enable supportive and coordinated care post cancer treatment.
Over the course of the project, a multicentre clinic was established with LRH acting as the main hub with affiliate clinics at BRHS and GSHS. The project inclusion criteria for recruiting patients were those with breast, prostate, lymphoma, colorectal cancers and newly added ovarian cancer. Now that the project is finalised and the clinics established the service will continue to provide ongoing supportive care appointments post treatment.
The Gippsland survivorship clinic has been very well received by patients. Overall, patient feedback about the clinic has been highly positive – patients feel well-supported, and indicate that care coordination and follow-up processes are understood by patients.
For further information about the Gippsland Cancer Survivorship Program, please email email@example.com or call 5128 0062.
Snapshot of project outcomes
207 people were seen through the clinic
Five cancer survivorship nurses have been trained across Gippsland
End of treatment care plans are shared between patient, medical specialist and GP
“Wonderful supportive clinic, highly recommend”
“I felt I had an opportunity to discuss everything”
“My fears and worries were clarified”
“Suggest that the program was longer”
“Exactly what I needed, very supportive”
Optimal Care Pathway
The Integrated Cancer Services have been tasked by the Department of Health and Human Services with implementing the Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer throughout Victoria. The initial focus was on the colorectal and lung tumour streams followed by esophagogastric, prostate, pancreas and head and neck cancers. More tumour streams will be instigated as we progress the work.
As part of our implementation process, GRICS collected a considerable amount of data for auditing and surveyed both consumers and clinicians to collect information about the current state of cancer care and existing pathways in Gippsland. We have used this data to identify any gaps and opportunities for improvement in current practice by benchmarking against the OCP recommendations. The information we have collected has informed our areas of focus for improvement activities. We have worked closely with the Gippsland PHN, Gippsland Health services and consumers to achieve these enhancements.
Another integral component of the work undertaken is the promotion of the OCPs to both health professionals, consumers and the broader community, with more events planned.
By adopting the OCPs, Gippsland health facilities will be better equipped to provide consistent, coordinated and quality cancer care at each stage of a patient’s cancer journey.
GRICS continued its focus this year on the Lung Optimal Care Pathway, and in particular, the Lung Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (MDM). The frequency of the Lung MDM has been increased from fortnightly to weekly, to allow a greater capacity for newly diagnosed lung cancer patients to be presented at the MDM. When comparing a 12-month period of Lung MDM patient presentations, there was an increase of 106 patients being presented in the 12 months following the increase to weekly meetings.
Further Lung OCP initiatives have been delayed due to implications of COVID-19.
Head & Neck Cancer- Upskilling Speech Pathologists and Dietitians in Gippsland
GRICS aims to provide a comprehensive education experience for Gippsland community based and health service based allied health clinicians to enable best practice follow up care to be provided to patients with head and neck cancers.
The project has four components, which will be delivered in conjunction with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and will include on-line learning modules; Community of Practice mentoring program; Allied Health Head and Neck Cancer Symposium; Clinical Placement at Peter Mac.
Due to the cyber security incident and COVID-19, the project has been delayed with the Symposium unfortunately not able to be delivered as scheduled during our original timeframe.
However, to date, we have commenced the Community of Practice mentoring program. The program has involved eight Speech Pathologists and six Dietitians from across five Gippsland health services accessing mentoring sessions with specialists at Peter Mac via video conferencing.
The Allied Health Symposium will be planned for early 2021, pending restrictions, and the shadowing placements and online learning modules will hopefully take place at the end of 2020 or early 2021.