Clinical placement program for primary care professionals at a comprehensive cancer centre

Cancer survivors often suffer from a range of effects as a result of their cancer or cancer treatments. Most cancer survivors require ongoing care following the completion of their treatment. Shared care is an emerging area in cancer treatment research. It uses integrated care between oncology and primary care teams to maximise appropriate treatment, care and follow-up for patients. This model of care may improve the management of the comorbidities associated with cancer as well as provide appropriate cancer-specific management.

A new paper in Australian Family Physician by PC4 member Michael Jefford has investigated the feasibility of implementing a clinical placement program for GPs and nurses at a comprehensive cancer centre. The aim was to provide an opportunity for knowledge and skills transfer in the context of this increasing field of shared care.

The program recruited 16 general practitioners and 12 general practice nurses. The placement involved pre-readings and video materials along with attending 10 hours of multidisciplinary meetings and outpatient clinics. The program was shown to be highly feasible and well regarded by participants. In particular,  generalist participants felt that the placement reinforced their role in post-treatment care. Participants also felt the program helped build collaborative relationships and break down cross-sector barriers.

The results of the research has now provided a new focus on ensuring bidirectional learning within the program between generalists and oncology professionals.

Read the full article here.