Monash Health has provided healthcare to Victorians for more than 150 years. Located in the southern part of Melbourne, the main campus is located in the suburb of Clayton; however expansion of the health service to provide care at various community sites has continued over the decades. Monash Medical Centre Moorabbin which opened in 1977 is the site of the Monash Cancer Centre, which provides more than 1.5 million residents of southern Melbourne with access to world-class multidisciplinary cancer care. McCulloch House, our inpatient palliative care unit, is co-located with the main campus in Clayton. This historic building originally built in 1889 was renovated and extended in 1996 to be a purpose built Palliative Care Unit.
Monash Cancer Centre offers a collaborative, highly qualified multidisciplinary team framework for patient care. The oncology department consists of medical, surgical and radiation oncology teams. Services include radiotherapy, chemotherapy day unit, inpatient oncology wards and multidisciplinary outpatient clinics. Nursing roles, including care coordination and clinical nurse consultancy for each of the tumour streams are also a key aspect of care provision. The department also actively participates in cancer research and clinical trials. The oncology department is closely integrated with the supportive and palliative care team in order to provide seamless care for patients. The centre also has a strong academic profile with links to Monash University, and education and training at all levels (students and staff) is highly emphasised.
Areas of Specialisation
Monash Cancer Centre provides all care, from cancer diagnosis to treatment, and follow-up, for all tumour streams. Each tumour stream is staffed by oncologists with specific expertise in that area, and specialist nursing care coordination is provided as well. The centre also actively participates in education, research and clinical trials (particularly Phase I oncology trials), across both specialties of oncology and palliative care. The centre also has robust academic links to Monash University; and only recently the Monash Health Translational Precinct was opened: this is a collaboration between Monash Health, Monash University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in order to enhance translational research capabilities. In palliative care, specific areas of specialisation and research include multi-modal management of refractory pain and health service delivery research (tele-medicine).
Palliative and Supportive Care
The Supportive and Palliative Care unit at Monash Health is a Monash University academic unit. We have a 16 bed inpatient unit (McCulloch House), a bi-disciplinary medical and nursing consult team that services all campuses of the health service including Monash Cancer Centre, and an outpatient clinic based at Monash Cancer Centre. We also have established links to community palliative care services to provide continuity of care for patients outside of the hospital setting as well as support to rural areas of Victoria. We have a team of palliative care physicians (two of whom have dual training in oncology), clinical nurse consultants, and allied health staff (from physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social work). Monash Health also provides pastoral care services and a dedicated psycho-oncology service. The unit also has a strong focus on research; we have currently 2 PhD candidates, a research fellow, a Bachelor of Medical Science student and a research assistant.