About Us

The Victorian Cancer Reforms and Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS)

Provision of an efficient and effective cancer service system that meets the needs of those affected by cancer is the focus of the reforms implemented by the Victorian Government in 2004. The two key components of the cancer reforms were establishing Integrated Cancer Services and developing care based upon a tumour stream model of consultation.

The Integrated Cancer Services (ICS) are clusters of hospitals and associated health services that plan and improve services for people with all types of cancers within a geographic area. SMICS is one of eight regionally based integrated cancer services, whilst the Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service is a state-wide collaboration. SMICS comprises Alfred Health, Cabrini Health, Peninsula Health and Monash Health.

The ten tumour streams include: breast, central nervous system, colorectal, genito-urinary, gynaecology, haematology, head and neck, lung, skin and upper gastro-intestinal. Optimal Care Pathways released in 2016 provide a guide to the optimal management of care for patients with particular tumour types.

Four priority outcome areas were identified for reform and are the basis for quality improvement with the ICS. These priority outcomes are:

  • multidisciplinary care (MDC)
  • care coordination (CC)
  • supportive care (SC)
  • reducing unwanted variations in care (RUVC).

SMICS Vision

To facilitate a network of cancer services in southern Melbourne which offers exceptional care, an ideal experience and optimal clinical outcomes to people affected by cancer.

SMICS Mission

Through collaboration with partner organisations, facilitate the creation of a cancer care system in southern Melbourne which is integrated, leads best practice, improves clinical outcomes and is person centred.

SMICS Principles

  • The network for cancer care is integrated and offers individuals a seamless experience.
  • The network includes organisations whose funding comes from all sectors and is sensitive to those differences but works to create common ground.
  • The system is responsive, innovative and adaptable as new knowledge and technologies become available.
  • The system is sustainable with policy, protocols and processes reinforcing the network of care.
  • The network is built on best evidence for service capability offering individuals the best clinical outcome possible.
  • Equity of access and cultural sensitivity is inherent in all we do.
  • Consumer knowledge and involvement in care is optimised to facilitate an ideal experience of care.

SMICS Governance

A shared governance council with the Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MPCCC) Cooordination Unit and a management committee are jointly responsible for SMICS Governance.

Supportive Care

The Department of Health has identified supportive care as one of four key priority areas for service improvement. Supportive care refers to a range of generalist and specialist services which may be required by those affected by cancer. It includes self-help and support, information, psychological support, symptom control, social support, rehabilitation, spiritual support, palliative care and bereavement care.

Multidisciplinary Care

Multidisciplinary care is one of the four key priority areas identified by the Department of Health for service improvement. Multidisciplinary cancer care involves a team approach by a range of health professionals across all stages of diagnosis and treatment.

Primary Care

SMICS are committed to facilitating the involvement of primary care in cancer care and are working to improve the interface between the acute and primary care sectors in the following ways:

  • engage PHN's and other primary care stakeholders in SMICS initiatives
  • providing opportunities for professional development for primary care providers
  • establishing surviviorship projects where the key principles are shared care
  • approach increasing GP participation in MDT meetings improving two-way comunication between cancer clinicians accross primary and acute care sectors.

The SMICS Catchment

The SMICS catchment covers a total area of 2,967 square kilometres, It aligns most closely with eleven local government areas (LGAs).

  • Bayside
  • Cardinia
  • Casey
  • Great Dandenong
  • Kingston
  • Frankston
  • Glen Eira
  • Mornington Peninsula
  • Monash
  • Port Phillip
  • Stonnington