Paediatric Psychosocial Oncology Services Symposium

PC4 member Jacqueline Bloomfield

“On Wednesday 12th October 2016, I attended the inaugural Paediatric Psyschosocial Oncology Services Symposium in Melbourne. This event, convened by Redkite in partnership with the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group, was attended by a mix of clinicians, health care professionals, academics, researchers, patient and key stakeholder representatives from across the country. The remit of the symposium was to reach consensus on the need to establish a national framework focused on the psychosocial needs of children and families affected by cancer, to identify priority components of the framework and to determine how the framework would be progressed.

The day provided very interesting and thought-provoking discussions, and it was valuable to hear from former patients and the parents of children with cancer as they shared their experiences and insights. Clearly, psychosocial issues can have a considerable impact on not only children with cancer but also siblings, parents and other family members. This is an area that all in attendance agreed requires attention. Group discussions provided the opportunity for attendees to collaborate on areas of priority and strategies to address these. These discussions, contextualise across key stages of the cancer trajectory (diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and palliative/end of life care) provided a valuable starting point for future work in this important aspect of care.”