The Hospital "Maggiore della Carità" is an important national hospital, that offers assistance pathways in all medical and surgical specialties; it is the reference hospital for Eastern Piedmont area. It is also a teaching and research hospital, in cooperation with the School of Medicine of the University of Eastern Piedmont "Amedeo Avogadro".
The cancer center and the palliative care-hospice are part of the hospital Specialistic and Oncological Department, that also includes an hematology and a radiotherapy unit. The cancer center is composed of an outpatient clinic and an inpatient ward. The outpatient clinic provides active oncological treatments, clinical follow-up, nursing counseling, psychological support and preventive medicine visits. The inpatient ward offers support to complex patients. The palliative care-hospice unit includes an outpatient clinic that provides palliative care, simultaneous care and in-bed visits in hospital wards and an inpatient hospice.
The Hospital cancer center provides treatment and support to all those cancer patients needing active treatment. In the first outpatient visit, they are evaluated and their care pathway defined. They then can access active treatment, undergo interdisciplinary (i.e. oncologic, palliative care, surgical, radiotherapeutic and psychologic) evaluation by case presentation in GICs, or be referred to palliative care services. During active treatment and follow-up visits, oncologists may underline palliative and supportive care needs. In this occurrence, patients are addressed to palliative “Simultaneous Care”. Here their needs are assessed and treated so that they can keep on with active treatment. Patients in active treatment needing closer monitoring because of therapy adverse events or acute problems are admitted to the oncology ward. Controlled clinical trials are available.
Palliative and supportive care
The Palliative Care Unit is the reference for oncological pain management and treatment of uncontrolled symptoms in our hospital. Whereas patients who are judged to no longer benefiting from anti-tumor interventions by oncologists and palliative care doctors, are referred to palliative care only (mainly palliative care outpatient clinic or hospice ward); symptom assessment and treatment and psychosocial needs evaluation are provided in all settings. Patients admitted to the oncology ward have access to specialist palliative care by the means of hospital on-call, in-bed visits; ongoing project programmes to provide palliative care evaluation to all patients in the first days after admission.