Background and Context: The Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) is a partnership between health services across Victoria, Australia, caring for children with cancer, supporting an integrated, coordinated multi-disciplinary approach to paediatric and adolescent cancer care.
Aim: To support a collaborative approach to statewide care, a Service Capability Framework (SCF) was developed by PICS to define minimum requirements for providing sustainable, coordinated and safe care across a variety of settings.
Strategy/Tactics: A literature review was undertaken to gather evidence to guide rationale and recommendations. An expert steering group was established, with wider consultation from other disciplines. The SCF was endorsed by the tertiary referral centres, as well as the Victorian Government’s Risk Management and Insurance Group.
Programme/Polcy Process: The SCF presents four levels of care for health service participation, including an algorithm of risk factors that may escalate the level of care required. The levels are defined according to complexity of care, patient critical mass and the level of paediatric oncology services available. These sites vary from supportive care in regional Victoria, through to specialist metropolitan tertiary referral centres. Levels are defined across critical time points in the patient’s care, supporting clinical decision making and referral. Each level describes the infrastructure, workforce, education, research, quality, clinical governance and service networks required. The SCF also describes minimum requirements in speciality areas such as clinical trials, laboratory services, imaging, multidisciplinary team meetings, nursing, pharmacy, psychosocial and psycho-oncology care, radiation oncology, surgery and management of late effects.
Outcomes/ What was learnt: The SCF supports health services to plan, develop and deliver high level safe and effective paediatric cancer care within an agreed scope of practice. The SCF supports health services to deliver a level of care that meets the needs of their local community whilst maintaining patient safety and building confidence in referring shared care.