Hunter New England Health is to benefit from $140,000 in funding announced today from the Cancer Institute NSW. The funding will support a shared care initiative for patients who have completed cancer treatment.
Supported by a Cancer Institute NSW Evidence to Practice Grant, the program, which will initially focus on the Newcastle region, aims to reduce anxiety of those living beyond a cancer diagnosis, by enhancing follow-up care between a patient’s cancer specialist and GP.
“While the incidence of cancer in our community is increasing, so too are the number of people surviving long term following a cancer diagnosis,” said Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow.
“Cancer survival can provide its own unique sets of physical and psycho-social challenges. This program will allow primary care physicians to offer follow up care that people living after a cancer diagnosis in the Hunter New England region require, while working in collaboration with cancer specialists,” he said.
Almost two thirds of those diagnosed with cancer in Hunter New England survive five years past diagnosis, and survival rates are increasing. Providing coordinated and specialised care for those living beyond a cancer diagnosis is a new challenge for the NSW health system.
Hunter New England Health’s Director of Cancer Services, Dr Tony Proietto says, “Hunter New England Health has many programs in place to drive collaboration between primary care and specialist clinicians, whether this be at the point of referral or via the treating multidisciplinary team. This funding will allow us to extend this to providing the best support possible for those surviving cancer in the long term.”