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Icon Group partners with Optimise Allied Health to improve quality of life for cancer patients

Icon Group is expanding its integrated service offering for cancer patients; announcing a national partnership with Optimise Allied Health which will deliver comprehensive, multidisciplinary support across all of Icon Group’s cancer centres.

Optimise Allied Health employs an integrated model of medical, nursing and allied health care to provide services which aim to improve quality of life for patients pre, post and during cancer treatment. Currently, an established and growing body of evidence recognises the benefit – both physically and emotionally – of improved access to various allied health services.

Multidisciplinary treatment and supportive care services offered by Optimise, including physiotherapy, dietetics, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and psychology, reduce the impact of treatment for patients, improve their experiences, support their families and significant others, and can enhance their health outcomes and functional ability.

Icon Group Medical Director, Dr Ian Irving, says “The role of allied health in augmenting patients’ experience during their cancer treatment is important, which is why we are pleased to announce our partnership with Optimise Allied Health. Our aim is to continue to meet the multidisciplinary needs of patients in our Icon Cancer Centres and Radiation Oncology Centres (ROC) from the point of cancer diagnosis through to supportive care.”

“The benefits of this model for our existing and new patients includes less time spent travelling to multiple destinations for treatment, reduced delay between referral and start of treatment, and better delivery of care through integrated consultation across medical staff.”

Icon Cancer Care Southport patient, Laraine Crane, was diagnosed with stage 2, grade 3 breast cancer in 2014, and was treated with chemotherapy prior to the introduction of the allied health services at the centre. Laraine believes having access to multiple support services in one location will benefit cancer patients and help them physically and emotionally.

“I have a regular psychologist, so it was important to me to continue having a psychologist, specifically throughout my cancer treatment. Going to a psychologist helped me emotionally and mentally. The sessions were about addressing certain fears that I didn’t want to talk about with my friends and family and my psychologist was able to help me alleviate those fears and teach me how to take things step by step.”

“My psychologist suggested going to a mindfulness course which was great for me. It was good to stop and take your mind off things. I am a very positive person but while I was having treatment I noticed other patients struggling, who were sometimes afraid to ask for help. Having services available in familiar surroundings, under the one roof, makes it less scary and would definitely encourage patients to utilise them. Patients should use the resources available, you might just get one thing out of it, but it’s going to help you stay positive throughout your cancer treatment and beyond.”

Referrals to Optimise allied health services can be issued by doctors, nurses, or come directly from the patient. Services will be provided onsite, or at a closely located Optimise or partner allied health facility, which will be determined in accordance with the patients’ needs.

Optimise Allied Health Executive Director, Brooke Taylor, says, “Together with Icon Group, Optimise Allied Health shares the same commitment to exceptional care through individualised treatment plans and improved access to services, which is why we’re thrilled to recognise this milestone and the benefits it will offer cancer patients.”

Icon Group CEO Mark Middleton says this latest partnership will enhance overall care for Icon patients.

“We are committed to providing exceptional care to our patients, and this extends beyond cancer treatment itself. Our partnership with Optimise will enable us to care for our patients across all aspects of their cancer experience, and will be rolled out across our entire organisation in the coming months.”

Optimise will continue to work alongside any allied health arrangements and services that are currently already in place across the Group’s cancer centres.

About Optimise Allied Health services at Icon Group centres:

Optimise Allied Health will deliver onsite allied health assessment and treatment services to patients across existing and new centres.

The benefits of the allied health model are:

  • Reduced requirement for patients to travel to multiple destinations for treatment;
  • Reduction in delays between referral and commencement of allied health treatment as all treatment is delivered onsite and immediately;
  • Increased frequency of allied health intervention and associated benefits due to improved accessibility;
  • Ability for medical and allied health professionals to work as a team and develop individualised treatment programs;
  • Ability for allied health professionals to liaise with nursing and medical staff directly regarding patient goals, treatment programs and intended health outcomes.

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