Department of Health

Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic (SURC) Initiative

Key messages

  • Symptom and Urgent Review Clinics (SURC) are an innovative approach to the management of patients receiving chemotherapy who experience symptoms from their cancer or treatment.
  • This model helps to recognise and manage symptoms early to avoid the need for presentations to the emergency department or rescheduling of treatment.

SURC clinics have been implemented across Victoria’s public hospitals in metropolitan and regional areas. These nurse led models of care address identified gaps within the Chemotherapy Day Unit (CDU) to support patients experiencing treatment related toxicities during the period of active treatment.  

The SURC model of care has been created to: 

  • Provide consistent education to patient and carers prior to the commencement of treatment.
  • Provide a point of contact where patients and carers could access support during and throughout treatment cycles.
  • Establish protocols based on previous work undertaken by the United Kingdom Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS) including patient assessment, telephone advice and management of face-to-face presentations.
  • Work collaboratively with existing medical staff within the CDU to manage patients outside the scope of the nursing role.
  • Establish patient pathways to ensure safe management of toxicities.

Evaluation of this service has shown high rates of patient participation in the SURC model of care, a reduction in emergency presentations, and improved patient satisfaction throughout treatment. This has been a sustainable model in metropolitan, regional and paediatric cancer services.

Community of Practice

SURC Community of Practice events provided an opportunity for individuals from both funded sites and other health services to learn from each other and to share experiences of implementing a SURC in their local environments.

Ongoing annual SURC Community of Practice events will be facilitated by the Department of Health.

SURC Framework and Toolkit

The SURC framework and toolkit outlines governance, models of care and funding structures to help Victorian health services establish and deliver safe, high-quality SURC models. The framework contains a set of tools and templates tested within these models to help when implementing a SURC model. 

The framework aims to assist health services to develop a SURC model that meets local needs.

For any questions regarding the SURC model, please email cancerplanning@health.vic.gov.au.

Reviewed 20 January 2022

Health.vic

Contact details

Cancer Support, Treatment and Research Department of Health

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