Western Sydney draws up cancer battle plan

Ashwini Chand and Rachael Hammond from radiation oncology within WSLHD Cancer Services were among those to contribute to the first cancer plan workshop.

The focus is on the future as Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) plans how it will tackle cancer for the next five years.

Cancer detection and survival is steadily improving across WSLHD, with the mortality rate dropping by 45% for men and 38% for women since its peak in 1984.

But with one of the fastest growing populations in Australia and new treatments becoming available, it’s important to plan for delivering the best care into the future. 

WSLHD principal health planner Julie Meyer said the community, patients and staff will have opportunities over the coming months to share what they think is important to put in the plan.

“We will putting out regular information in The Pulse and on social media so keep an eye out for how you can contribute,” Julie said.

Westmead and Auburn Hospitals general manager Brett Thompson.

The WSLHD Cancer Plan 2020-2025 will consider all aspects of the district’s services including models of care, research and education, and cover the journey from prevention to survival.

The planning process began with a workshop on May 30, featuring input from consumers, members of the WSLHD executive and staff, and partner organisations including WentWest, Westmead Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney and NSW Pathology.

The workshop provided a great start to the planning process with key themes identified for development including:

  • Providing true person-centred care, continuously improved and co-designed through consultation with consumers
  • Refining models of care, including clear referral processes for treatment and survivorship services
  • Strengthening our multi-disciplinary approach to service provision
  • Providing more flexible, integrated services to meet consumer needs
  • Investing in integrated and user-friendly systems and technology
  • Ensuring a healthy, engaged workforce with the right capability, culture and conditions to achieve our vision
  • Creating a tighter alignment between our research, outreach, education and treatment services
  • Providing clear direction on investment priorities in relation to cancer services.

Consistent with the district’s Health Services Plan, the Cancer Plan will have a focus on how to build a healthier community so people can lower their cancer risk.

Westmead Hospital intensive care services project lead Tanya Critchlow.

It will also focus on working with partners in the healthcare neighbourhood so that people get the right care in the right place at the right time by the right team.

The plan will also look at the needs of priority groups in western Sydney including older people, Aboriginal people and those from different cultural groups who may need extra help.

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the WSLHD Cancer Services Plan contact WSLHD Health Services Planning and Development at WSLHD-HSPD@health.nsw.gov.au or phone 8890 8898.