Providing better-than-ever support for cancer patients

A man and a woman stand outside a building underneath a sign that reads Cancer Centre
Scott Phillips with Cancer Centre Nurse Unit Manager Sarah Suart, who was also integral in opening the clinic.
September 15, 2023

The first south-of-the-river Medical Oncology Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic (SURC) is set to open at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) from Monday 18 September 2023.

The FSH SURC will be WA Health’s second such service, and the first south of the river, providing specialist support for medical oncology patients experiencing side effects during treatment.

Led by Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group (FSFHG) Head of Service Medical Oncology Dr Wei-Sen Lam and SURC Clinical Nurse Consultant Scott Phillips, the SURC will better empower FSH patients with easy-to-access, timely support and information to best manage their health while undergoing cancer treatment.

“FSH patients or their support person can call and speak to an experienced cancer nurse about any symptoms, such as high temperature, nausea and vomiting, or excessive pain,” Scott said.

“The nurse will ask questions to advise patients on how to manage the symptoms, make a booking for the patient to come into the clinic, or advise they go to their general practitioner or the emergency department (ED).

“A specialist oncology doctor will also available when needed.”

FSFHG Executive Director, Neil Doverty, explained this is another way FSH is working to proactively support our patients, and ultimately reduce preventable presentations to our emergency department.

“The SURC model helps to recognise and manage symptoms early, to avoid the need for presentations to the ED or rescheduling of treatment,” Neil said.

“It’s another method we’re using to prevent patients from having to come to hospital unnecessarily and therefore further reduce pressure on our ED.”

The SURC will be located at the FSH Cancer Centre and will be available 8:30am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday.

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