Northern Sydney Local Health District
The Oncology Telephone Helpline aimed to establish a person centered service for people living with cancer. It looked to enable shared decision making, empower patients and reduce ED presentations and admissions.
Evidence was collected about the service for six months. A total of 337 telephone calls involving 157 patients were received. Of these patients, 38 (24.2%) were referred from the hotline for immediate review. The NP urgent assessment clinic assessed 297 patients during the study period. Helpline patients triaged code orange (n=116) were reviewed in the NP clinic within 24 hours.
Patients reported that they would have called the hospital services (n=20;45.5%) or attended the ED (n=10,23.8%) in the absence of the helpline. The helpline was accessed by 34 (72.3%) patients more than twice and 11 (23.4%) more than five times. This service has demonstrated a significant impact on access, quality of life and reduce ED presentations.