Epworth HealthCare has been successful in its bid to build a $30 Million integrated cancer centre for the residents of South West Victoria. Epworth will design, construct and operate the radiotherapy service. Construction commenced at the start of February 2015 and clinical services will be operational by the middle of 2016. The facility will be called the South West Regional Cancer Centre, and is located opposite South West Healthcare’s Warrnambool Base Hospital on Ryot Street.

The three level building will have two radiotherapy bunkers, one with a linear accelerator (radiation treatment machine), a planning CT scanner and associated support services and will be operated by Epworth Radiation Oncology as a public service with no costs to patients. To provide an integrated cancer care model of care, South West Healthcare will relocate their Day Oncology ward and chemotherapy pharmacy into the facility. The Oncology Suite has been designed to provide patients with wonderful views of the sea and the local pine trees.

The South West community raised $5M towards the centre, led by Peter’s Project. To recognise the community involvement and the role of supportive care and wellness principles in the wellbeing of cancer patients, the new facility will provide dedicated space in the Peter’s Project Community Support Centre. The Support centre and therapy suites are sited prominently on the corner of Ryot Street and Worland Grove for easy access for cancer patients and their carers, past and present. The purpose of the Peter’s Project SCC is to provide the people of South West Victoria with access to a place with services that address their social, psychological and cultural needs associated with a cancer diagnosis.

The centre will have video conference and IT integration to provide linkages with the region, as well as Geelong and Melbourne. There are consulting suites for Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists and other specialists to collaborate in a multidisciplinary environment. The project will also replace and provide extra carparks for the centre staff and patients.

Epworth HealthCare is excited to bring radiotherapy to the South West Victoria region, integrate with the existing excellent cancer care services and provide exceptional patient care closer to home.

When the facility opens in 2016, the cancer treatment centre will have capacity to treat up to 500 patients a year, helping patients in the region avoid travelling to Geelong and Melbourne for radiotherapy treatment.

Epworth Healthcare Epworth HealthCare will build and operate a $30million radiotherapy centre there and will provide a broad range of cancer services which will also include support services and consulting suites. Epworth is excited to have the opportunity to provide such a critical service to local Victorian and South Australian communities. It will save many patients from having to travel to Geelong or Melbourne to have radiotherapy.

At the heart of this important project is the co-operative spirit of several stakeholders, working together to jointly provide the very best in cancer care to the patients of South West Victoria.  Thanks to the vision of Peter’s Project, a Community Support Centre will be built within the new facility.

In the middle of 2016, we can all look forward to seeing a truly-integrated cancer centre right here in Warrnambool, caring for patients requiring chemotherapy within a medical oncology suite that will be the envy of many throughout Victoria.

Epworth’s role within the centre itself will be to treat patients needing Radiation Therapy with the treatment they need for their condition. Specialist oncologists, nursing and allied health staff will be co-located in areas immediately adjacent to where treatment is being provided.

Paul Fenton
Director of Commissioning, Epworth Healthcare