WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network

The WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network (WACPCN) is a group of individuals and organisations committed to improving the patient experience for people with cancer or who are accessing palliative care services. It leads and influences equitable access to cancer control and end of life care in Western Australia through a system of supporting, guiding and delivering high-quality cancer prevention, screening, early detection, cancer treatment and palliative care policy and initiatives.

The Network also provides advice to cancer and palliative care planning services in WA.

WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network structure

The WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network (WACPCN) consists of the Department of Health Policy Unit and the WACPCN Clinical Implementation Unit based in North Metropolitan Health Service.

The WACPCN Clinical Implementation Unit (CIU) based in the NMHS, provides a range of services to support people diagnosed with cancer, as well as their friends, families and carers. Further information can be found at the NMHS WACPCN Clinical Implementation Unit webpage.

The Policy Unit based at the Department of Health Health Networks consists of the End-of-Life Care and Cancer teams who are responsible for providing policy advice, state-wide coordination and development of state-wide strategy.

The End-of-Life Care team provides state-wide strategic direction through the WA End-of-Life and Palliative Care Strategy 2018-2028 (PDF 1.4MB) and its Implementation Plan One 2020-2022 (IP1) (PDF 1MB) and through implementing recommendations of the Report of the Joint Select Committee on End-of-Life choices, My Life, My Choice and the Ministerial Expert Panel on Advance Health Directives Report 2019.

The establishment of this specific team demonstrates the high priority that the West Australian Government places on end-of-life and palliative care. The team has the following specific responsibilities for implementation of initiatives and legislation related to:

  • end-of-life and palliative care
  • advance care planning
  • the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019.

Actions Plans and Evaluation Plans will help progress the achievement of recommended actions and measures within IP1. An Action Plan template (Word 28KB) is available for stakeholders to develop local Action Plans aligned to the priorities and building blocks of the End-of-Life and Palliative Care Strategy 2018-2028.

The Cancer team provides state-wide strategic direction through development of the WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 and its priorities for implementation (PDF 2MB). It also administers the WA Cancer Fellowships program.

The WA Cancer Strategic Leadership Group has recently been established to oversee implementation of the WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 and address cancer-related matters that cross organisational boundaries and have state-wide impact.

The WACPCN collectively has clinical experts who lead groups that dedicate their time and expertise to clinical reforms related to specific cancers and palliative care. The Network also obtains guidance from stakeholders and a number of reference groups formed for required periods of time to advise on specific projects.

Clinical experts include:

  • Dr Simon Towler - Clinical Lead, End-of-life care
  • Dr Alison Parr - Clinical Lead, Palliative Care
  • Dr Tom Ferguson - Medical Advisor, Cancer
  • Cancer Leads (listed below):
 Cancer Leads
Aboriginal TBA Primary Care TBA
Adolescent and Young Adult Dr Shannyn George Psycho-oncology A/Prof Moira O'Connor
Breast Dr Andy Redfern Rare and Familial Dr Nicholas Pachter
Colorectal Dr Katherine Broughton Sarcoma Dr Richard Carey-Smith
Data and Research Prof Christobel Saunders Screening and early diagnosis Dr Hooi Ee
Gynaecology TBA Skin/Melanoma Dr Ernest Tan
Haematology Dr Tony Calogero Survivorship TBA
Head and Neck Dr Daren Gibson  Thoracic Dr Annette McWilliams
Neuro-oncology Dr Jeremy Croker Upper Gastrointestinal / hepatology TBO
Paediatrics Dr Nick Gottardo Urology Dr Dickon Hayne

Models of care

The WACPCN has led the development of Models of Care  which provided outlines for gold standard practice in a variety of health areas. Hundreds of people were involved in the development of the Models of Care and Frameworks including clinical staff, health service planners, non-government organisations, general practitioners, advocates, consumers, and carers.The Models of Care are now expired and superseded by the Optimal Care Pathways.

Optimal Care Pathways

Optimal Care Pathways (external site) are evidence-based, nationally-endorsed resources that describe optimal cancer care by tumour type. They map the patient journey, aiming to foster an understanding of the whole pathway and its distinct components to promote quality cancer care and patient experiences. The pathways are endorsed by the National Cancer Expert Review Group (NCERG), Cancer Australia, Cancer Council Australia, and the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC). The OCPs are being implemented nationally.

For patient information or resources about cancer, visit HealthyWA (external site).

WACPCN CIU and EOLC team – Palliative Care Program

The WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Clinical Implementation Unit and End-of-Life Care team, Palliative Care Program provides strategic, statewide policy direction, coordination and collaboration on initiatives to deliver evidence-based, quality, end-of-life and specialist palliative care services across Western Australia. Some of its projects include:

Models of care and resources

The WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Clinical Implementation Unit and End-of-Life team Palliative Care Program produces a range of resources and is actively working towards an integrated statewide model of care for palliative care in Western Australia.

For patient information or resources about palliative care, visit HealthyWA (external site).

More information

End of Life Care team
Address: 189 Royal Street
East Perth WA 6004
Phone: 9222 0202
Email: EOLCare@health.wa.gov.au
Cancer Network
Address: 189 Royal Street
East Perth WA 6004
Phone: 9222 0202
Email: cancernetwork@health.wa.gov.au
WACPCN Clinical Implementation Unit
Address: North Metropolitan Health Service, 4th Floor A Block, Verdun Street,
Nedlands WA 6009
Phone: 6457 0855
Email: wacpcn@health.wa.gov.au
Last reviewed: 05-07-2021