Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

Hundreds of South Australians help shape approach to cancer care across the state

15 Feb 2024

Nav­i­gat­ing the com­plex­i­ties of can­cer care can be chal­leng­ing for patients, their fam­i­lies and the health work­force. That’s why our Can­cer Statewide Clin­i­cal Net­work (SCN) have col­lab­o­rat­ed with Flinders Uni­ver­si­ty Car­ing Futures Insti­tute (CFI) to devel­op a can­cer nav­i­ga­tion frame­work for South Aus­tralians that aims to stream­line care path­ways and opti­mise sup­port for patients through­out their can­cer journey. 

Over 200 voic­es– includ­ing patients, fam­i­lies, pri­ma­ry care providers, allied health pro­fes­sion­als, com­mu­ni­ty groups, Abo­rig­i­nal Con­trolled Com­mu­ni­ty Health Organ­i­sa­tions (ACCHO’s) and com­mu­ni­ty organ­i­sa­tions – have helped shape this frame­work to ensure it reflects the nuanced needs and chal­lenges faced by diverse pop­u­la­tions across South Aus­tralia. Patients and their fam­i­lies across South Aus­tralia, includ­ing remote com­mu­ni­ties, were engaged through flex­i­ble online and in-per­son options, mul­ti­lin­gual sur­veys, and sup­port group outreach. 

Guid­ed by inter­na­tion­al research and informed by South Aus­tralian expe­ri­ences, the frame­work will pro­vide a patient-cen­tered def­i­n­i­tion of can­cer nav­i­ga­tion: An indi­vid­u­alised, patient-cen­tred inter­ven­tion that aims to over­come patient and sys­tem bar­ri­ers, helps patients access opti­mal can­cer care in a safe and time­ly man­ner, and meets patient and fam­i­ly needs through­out the can­cer care continuum.” 

The frame­work will include the key areas iden­ti­fied through con­sul­ta­tion and research includ­ing care coor­di­na­tion, edu­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion access, emo­tion­al and psy­choso­cial sup­port, prac­ti­cal and logis­ti­cal assis­tance, fam­i­ly sup­port, and cul­tur­al­ly respon­sive services. 

With all the valu­able input gath­ered, the draft­ing of the frame­work is under­way and will be com­ing out for fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion lat­er this year. 

To learn more about the project and find ways to share your voice, see Can­cer Statewide Clin­i­cal Net­work.