Live Virtual Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2020

Partnering for person-centred services  (#54)

Catherine Devereux 1
  1. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, revised work allocations at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre assigned each Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNCs) to one of three dedicated nurse-led phone hubs to respond to patient or family-initiated calls regarding health concerns. Prior to this patients and carers who called the hospital were put in touch with a tumour stream specific CNC directly involved in their care. 


Following low risk ethical approval, we undertook a quality assurance project to explore:

  • Acceptability and person-centredness of a cross-tumour stream nurse-led phone hub for patients and their families
  • CNC’s experiences of moving from a tumour stream specific model to a generic pool of nurse consultants responding to calls from patients and carers

Thirty-two patients and carers (all family members) agreed to take part in a telephone, audio-recorded semi-structured interview. As well as responding to questions about their experiences of contacting the phone hub, consumers were asked to rate the interactions they had with phone hub CNCs.

Seventeen randomly selected CNCs participated in an audio-recorded semi- structured F2F interview.

Data analysis:

Content analysis identified key messages about patient, family member and CNC experiences and perceptions of acceptability of the phone hub model. Quantitative data was analysed descriptively.


Despite technical issues with the phone system consumers were pleased to have their call to the nurse answered rather than leaving a message. Consumers felt reassured by speaking with a generic CNC in the phone hub. Of the 26 (81%) consumers who rated the service 20 (77%) gave a score of 4.5 or 5 (where 5 is very good/excellent). Interestingly consumers rated the nurse-led phone hub more positively than the CNCs. In particular, some CNCs raised concern about the impact of a generic hub on their relationship with patients.


Engagement of consumers provided important insights and methods into shaping improvements in services, in particular, how and where information is communicated to patients and families.

This presentation will discuss lessons learnt in involving consumers in a quality assurance project and draw on previous co-design projects to highlight the value of partnering with consumers throughout projects to develop more person-centred health products and services.