The Medical Oncology Unit of Fermo Murri Hospital was established in 1987. It is located in central Italy and consists of a 15-bed day-hospital and an outpatient clinic in a 280-bed general hospital.
The Medical Oncology Unit staff is composed of seven medical oncologists, one nurse coordinator, nine nurses, one psychologist, one healthcare worker, one health attendant and two volunteers.
A 10-bed hospice opened in July 2009 in a facility 22 km from the hospital and is alos managed by the Medical Oncology Unit. The hospice's multidisciplinary team is composed of seven nurses, one nurse coordinator, six healthcare workers, one social worker, three physical therapists, 15 volunteers, a psychologist and a catholic priest. In order to guarantee continuity of care, medical assistance is provided on rotation by five medical oncologists (with training in palliative care) from the Oncology Unit.
Areas of specialisation
The Medical Oncology Unit is involved in clinical research of the main tumours (breast, GI, lung) and in palliative care integration.
Palliative and supportive care
The department's vision of medical oncology care is derived from the "solo model of care" as described by Bruera and Hui.
In this model the oncologist follows the patient over the entire disease trajectory and must be competent in palliative care. Five out of seven oncologists have competencies in palliative care and since 2003 a Palliative Care Service, driven by one of the medical oncologists, has been established inside the Medical Oncology Unit.
The psychologist of the Medical Oncology Unit serves also in the hospice following the same model of continuity of care.