March 2016
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Dear Clinical Network members

This year the Clinical Network is celebrating 40 years of connecting Victorian cancer clinicians. We will be reflecting on our significant history throughout the year and marking the celebration with an event in October.

2016 is well underway and has been a busy time for the Clinical Network. Over the last few months we have made some changes to our structure and have been working on a number of significant initiatives that affect cancer care. Find out what we have been up to below.

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It's our 40th anniversary!

We were established way back in 1976, to discuss the management of solid tumours requiring chemotherapy in Victoria, a fairly new method of treatment in Victoria at the time. Dr John Colebatch was our first Secretary.

The cancer landscape in Victoria has changed substantially over 40 years and our name, structure and purpose has evolved over time to reflect this. Vast improvements in treatment have been achieved through collaborative clinical research, which in our early years was very much fostered through the Clinical Network committees.

We will be reflecting on our 40 years of achievements throughout the year with a celebration planned for October in line with the release of the Government's Cancer Plan. If you have stories about your involvement in the Clinical Network or reflections on how the Clinical Network has supported practice improvements that you would like to share please contact clinicalnetwork@cancervic.org.au. Watch this space for more to come!

Clinical Network new Strategic Plan 2016-2019

Over the last few months we have been working with the Executive Committee in developing our new strategic plan . To reflect the three objectives of the Clinical Network, we have structured our work into three program areas:

The links above outline the aim, objectives, strategies and key outcomes for each program area. As part of the strategic planning changes to the tumour based committee structure have been made.  To read more about these changes and ways that you can contribute to the program of work click below. 

Read more

Planning

Policy and Advocacy

Informing Victoria's next Cancer Plan

Last year over 140 clinicians and health professionals provided input on the priorities for the Government's next Cancer Plan (due to be released in October and covering priorities for the next four years). The Clinical Network's final report is now available since its submission to the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessey and the Chief Advisor on Cancer, Prof Robert Thomas in late 2015.

It was pleasing to note that many of the issues raised by the Clinical Network were acknowledged in the recent DHHS Cancer Plan consultation session.

The Clinical Network will continue to work with the CCV's Office of the CEO in supporting the Government's consultation and development of the next Cancer Plan.

Victorian Medicinal Cannabis Scheme

The Access to Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2015 (the Bill) for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis for exceptional circumstances will very likely passed be in March 2016. The Bill paves the way for enabling eligible patients to access medicinal cannabis lawfully.

The Bill proposes a system for the regulation, cultivation, production and dispensing of medicinal cannabis in Victoria, as well as patient eligibility and authorisation. 

Read more

Victorian Medicinal Cannabis Scheme

Law Reforms impacting cancer care

There are reforms to two areas relating to the support of cancer patients that will change this year:

  1. New Health Complaints legislation, incorporating stronger regulation of alternative practitioners.
  2. Changes to laws affecting decision-making at end-of-life (as part of the Choices at end of life Parliamentary Inquiry).

More information will be circulated as these changes are announced.

Education: Upcoming events

How the law intersects with cancer care and the rights and responsibilities of clinicians: Wednesday 18 May 2016

A range of legal frameworks impact on the delivery of cancer care in Victoria, including regulation of health professionals, informed consent, and end-of-life law. This event will focus on a lively multi-disciplinary medical and legal panel discussion to draw out the complexities through discussion of three case studies that illustrate different ways in which the law impacts on cancer care.

Where: Telstra Corporate Building, 242 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, 6pm start. More details coming soon.

Law, end of life care and cancer: consumer audience: Thursday 19 May 2016

This event will provide a welcoming space in which cancer patients, their carers and community members can gain a better understanding of how advance care planning can support better decision-making at the end-of-life

Where: The Wheeler Centre, Lonsdale St, Melbourne, 6pm start. More details coming soon.

Brain Cancer Community Forum: Friday 6 May 2016

Cancer Council Victoria is collaborating with key organisations on a community event aimed at supporting brain cancer patients and carers on changes to treatment and support services available. Sessions will include developments in personalised brain tumour treatment, the practical and psychological challenges of living with a brain tumour and a session specifically for carers.

Where: Cancer Council Victoria. Register here.

Law and Cancer event

One more thing

Congratulations to all of the Clinical Network members awared grants in the latest Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) funding round.

The VCA recently awarded almost $20 million in grants funding to 29 Victorian research projects. The grants have been awarded to translational research projects, health services research projects, clinical research fellowships and early career seed grants, and cover a range of cancers. Over 30 Clinical Network members were sucessful in recieving funding.

For more details on any of the initiatives in this email please contact:

Cancer Council Victoria's Clinical Network
Celebrating 40 years of connecting Victorian cancer clinicians

Address: 615 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Vic 3004 Australia

Phone: +61 3 9514 6304 | Web: www.cancervic.org.au

Email: clinicialnetwork@cancervic.org.au

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