The “Fondazione Poliambulanza” is a 600 beds restructured hospital in 1997 in Brescia, Italy and has all medical and surgical specialities and high-level emergency facilities. Our Oncology Department is composed of a Unit of Medical Oncology, a Radiation Therapy Service and a Hospice (first established hospice in Italy since 1995, which also accepts HIV positive patients). Our Oncology Department includes a long-term care and patients can be assisted at home by our home care service and other services for territorial nursing home care.
The staff of the Medical Oncology Unit consists of 6 Medical Oncologists, 3 Physician specialising in Oncology, 15 nurses, 1 Data Manager and 1 Study Coordinator for clinical trials and 2 Psycho-oncologist. There are 9 beds in the Oncology Unit with one single room and 8 beds in the Oncology day-hospital, each year are hospitalised approximately 900 patients in the Oncology Unit and about 10,000 day-hospital procedures. Furthermore, we estimate 4,000 outpatient visits and 600 new cases per year. At the Radiation Therapy Service are 4 Medical Specialists, 2 Physicals, 5 Technicians and 4 nurses; this service has 2 linear accelerators with VMAT technology. Finally, the Hospice provides 30 beds and estimates about 250 outpatient visits per year. The staff consists of 6 palliative Physicians, 12 nurses working in the Unit and 6 nurses are dedicated to home care.
The patient with poorly controlled symptoms in need of symptom stabilisation is first quickly evaluated in outpatients by a palliative care physician and then, if indicated, hospitalised and closely monitored by specialists in palliative care with the support of the whole cancer team. Patients hospitalised in need of symptom stabilisation are mainly managed by our team of palliative care clinicians. There is always a close interaction between oncologists and the palliative medicine team. Our clinical specialities for a quickly and efficient symptom stabilisation comprises:
- palliative radiotherapy
- orthopaedic/neurosurgery consultation
- nutritional support
- ICU with specific experience in severe pain treatment
- Nuclear Medicine with facilities for bone-seeking radioisotopes for painful bone metastases
Palliative and supportive care
The staff of the Palliative and Supportive Care unit consists of 6 palliative Physicians, 1 Psychologist, 12 nurses working in the Unit and 6 nurses dedicated to home care.
The staff of the unit meets patient and the family after having carefully evaluated the patient's medical history, psychological and socio-economic aspects of the family, in order to start a personalised integrated care programme. Furthermore, there is an active interaction between: a) the hospice network (five fully active institutions are present in our Province); b) the home care palliative teams (ANT and Domus Salutis, operating in Brescia and its suburbs, and five additional teams operating outside: in Orzinuovi, Gavardo, Nozza di Vestone, Gussago and Pontevico). The most important Hospice is named “Domus Salutis”, provides 30 beds and nearly 250 outpatient visits per year.