SMICS supportive care program

Supportive care is an umbrella term used to refer to 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. Supportive care in cancer refers to the following five domains:

  • physical needs
  • psychological needs
  • social needs
  • information needs
  • spiritual needs.

All members of the multidisciplinary team have a role in the provision of supportive care. In addition, support from family, friends, support groups, volunteers and other community-based organisations make an important contribution to supportive care.

SMICS recognises the importance of supportive care screening and referral for all newly diagnosed cancer patients. SMICS aspiration is that supportive care will form the foundations of care for patients and their families/carers throughout their cancer journey in partnership with cancer care providers.

SMICS supports a patient centred approach to optimise care for those affected by cancer. The Supportive Care program of work is overseen by the advice and guidance of the SMICS Supportive Care Advisory Group. This group includes representatives from a variety of disciplines including cancer and medical specialists, operations directors, nurse managers and practitioners, psychology and allied health.

The role of this group is to provide leadership and direction to ensure SMICS’ Supportive Care Plan is achieved and to provide advice to the SMICS Governance Committee on matters relating to supportive care services across the catchment including implementation of Victoria’s Cancer Action Plan (Action Area 4: Support), promote and facilitate meaningful supportive care research and collaboration and participate in the ongoing development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities.

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