About CanNET Victoria

CanNET Victoria: A National Demonstration Program to develop Cancer Services Networks in Australia

Cancer Australia, in partnership with all the states and territories, developed the Cancer Service Networks National Program, (CanNET) to better link regional and metropolitan cancer services. CanNET has improved access to quality, clinically-effective cancer services throughout Australia.

In early 2007, the first phase of CanNET was established, with Cancer Australia providing seed funding to each state and the Northern Territory (NT) to develop seven cancer service networks. The outcomes and achievements of the first stage is documented in the CanNET National Evaluation.

In the 2009-10 Federal Budget, the Australian Government made a commitment to fund the CanNET program until 2012 to ensure that the outcomes and achievements of the first phase of CanNET were sustained and embedded into standard practice.

Phase 1

A collaborative project brought HumeRICS together with NEMICS to address the key issue of improving access to multidisciplinary care for all patients. It also worked to provide support for the cancer workforce. This work integrated well with NEMICS, providing additional opportunities to develop linkages in a formal way between a regional and a metropolitan ICS. This program provided valuable knowledge for all other ICS in addressing the way they work together to improve outcomes for patients.

The aim of the collaboration was to establish a cancer care network driven by consumers and carers from the Hume and North Eastern Melbourne regions of Victoria. This innovative project represented an extension of the ICS initiatives by building a productive and sustainable partnership across a metropolitan and rural ICS. The project will be guided by consumers and carers, and focused on:

  • Strengthening local capacity for the delivery of cancer services in the Hume region, and
  • Improving transitions and continuity of care for those who need to travel to metropolitan cancer services for aspects of their treatment.
Phase II
Project highlights

Multidisciplinary team meeting linkages

  • The use of online meeting technology (WebEx) for linkage to cancer multidisciplinary team meetings (MDM) is now sustainable in a number of meetings.
  • Other linkages have been developed using videoconferencing equipment.
  • The culture of the meeting has been identified as important when establishing a new link within a long standing MDM. Work may be required to ensure external participants are meaningfully included.
  • The use of videoconferencing is not as flexible as the use of WebEx for MDM links.                                                                                                                                                                                                               Dedicated rooms that are sufficiently equipped are essential to sustain linked MDMs in the long term.
  • Where linkages have been developed for MDMs administrative support to the meeting is essential.

MDT meeting directory

  • An online cancer MDM directory has been developed during the project and will require resources to maintain its currency.
  • The Victorian Department of Health’s Human Services Directory has been suggested as an appropriate solution to house the data for the MDM service directory however, it requires further promotion and communication to health services about the value of maintaining the data that it contains.

Multidisciplinary team meeting toolkit

  • The MDM Toolkit (DH 2006) has been reviewed in consultation with the Integrated Cancer Services and it now reflects the development that has occurred in MDMs in the past six years. The revised toolkit includes resources to assist team development, meeting sustainability and capacity building. This resource is expected to be available in the near future.

Consumer Participation

  • The ICS Consumer participation group has been established
  • A toolkit to assist the Integrated Cancer services to develop sustainable consumer participation in their activities has been published.


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