GV Health offers extra care for cancer patients
Published at: 08 May 2019
Cancer patients in Shepparton will receive even greater specialised care when it comes to the treatment of symptoms associated with cancer therapies.
Goulburn Valley Health has started operating the Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic after receiving Department of Health and Human Services grant funding.
‘‘The clinic is to improve the care of patients while undergoing treatment for cancer,’’ Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist Nicole Lewis said.
‘‘It provides a single point of contact for patients and carers to access support for toxicities experienced through cancer therapy via the phone or face-to-face.’’
Nurse unit manager of oncology Lynley Smith said GV Health was successful in the regional round of funding and, therefore, the SURC began operation last week.
‘‘So far it has worked really well,’’ Ms Smith said.
Ms Lewis said while the side effects of cancer treatments differed from therapy to therapy, there were general, overall symptoms experienced by patients.
‘‘We encourage patients to call the service if they are experiencing any side effects associated with their disease or treatment including a temperature of 38 degrees of greater; diarrhoea/constipation; nausea/vomiting; difficulty passing urine; new/uncontrolled or persistent pain; skin rash; mouth ulcers; acid reflux/indigestion; cough; shortness of breath; tiredness/fatigue and/or issues with central venous access devices,’’ she said.
The clinic would help patients in a number of ways as well as work alongside general practitioners as well as GV Health’s emergency department to take some of the strain off.
Oncology clinical nurse specialist Kirsty Cole said the clinic would also be there to answer any questions from both patients and carers and provide further education than already available.
‘‘It gives confidence to their carers; anyone concerned about the patient can call at any time,’’ she said.
While the service has been funded for 12 months, Ms Smith said they hoped to make it sustainable and operational into the future given the need for it among the community.
The Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic is open 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. It is located at Peter Copulos Cancer and Wellness Centre, Graham St, Shepparton. The service is free for GV Health oncology patients.