We're working closely with our peers and across the sector to ensure our efforts are complementary, including through our role in Victoria’s COVID-19 Cancer Taskforce.
If there are emerging issues and concerns that you are hearing from patients that we may be able to assist with, or if there are opportunities to collaborate to improve the information and support available to the oncology sector, please contact Amanda Piper or Veronica Perera on firstname.lastname@example.org.
As someone seeing firsthand the emerging challenges during this pandemic, you're well positioned to champion and advocate for equitable access to best practice, evidence-based cancer care.
Advanced care planning
Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) is urging health professionals to support your patients to do advance care planning as part of your preparations for COVID-19.
Health care planning includes conversations about future medical treatment decisions and access to documentation of treatment preferences. ACPA recommends health professionals ensure:
- People are encouraged to think about their future health care preferences and discuss these with loved ones and their treating health care professionals.
- People clearly identify their health care substitute decision-maker(s), and if necessary, appoint them to this role and inform them of their preferences.
- Existing advance care directive documents are made accessible and transferable between care providers by storing a copy of the document in My Health Record, with their treating hospital, medical practitioner, and/or their substitute decision-maker.
An individual may wish to consult with their treating medical practitioner(s) to document an advance care directive during COVID-19 and this should occur when relevant. These preparations will support health care providers in being able to offer appropriate quality care to patients and their loved ones.
For more information and advice please visit the Advanced Care Planning website or call the National Advisory Service on 1300 208 582 (9am-5pm EST Monday to Friday).
A range of advanced care planning resources are available including conversation starters, education modules and a legal resource hub with advance care directive forms.
Cancer and COVID-19 clinical guidelines
A group of senior specialist physicians from Australia and New Zealand have published new clinical guidelines in the Medical Journal of Australia for helping people living with cancer:
For cancer patients
The Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group (ALLG), with the support of its consumer representative panel, several clinician co-authors and numerous cancer organisations led by Cancer Council, has produced a companion information sheet for cancer patients, families and carers:
COVID-19 guidance on clinical trials
These guidelines have been developed to assist those overseeing, conducting and reviewing clinical trial research and to address prioritisation of clinical trial research. It is a joint statement of state and territory Departments of Health, the TGA, NHMRC and the Clinical Trials Project Reference Group (CTPRG):
National and international guidance for the management of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: