Silver Chain has partnered with a home-based medical infusion provider in a plan that will to deliver chemotherapy to cancer patients.
In a first for the sector, the in home health and community care provider has signed an MOU with Chemo@home, a national organisation that currently administers more than 1,200 treatments a month to people in their homes.
The agreement will see chemo treatment integrated into Silver Chain’s suite of services.
The partnership was initiated by Silver Chain’s CEO Dale Fisher, who has experience in the cancer space as a former CEO of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, and Chemo@home’s co-founder and company director Lorna Cook.
Only private patients are currently eligible for Chemo@home but the partnership will allow the scheme to be offered to public patients as well, Ms Cook says.
“They’re a large public provider of home services, so they have the patients but not the expertise to deliver chemotherapy, and we have the skills but not the public sector patients,” Ms Cook told Community Care Review.
“So we’re forming a joint venture so we can offer this service on a large scale through the public hospital system. It’s a marriage made in heaven.”
Chemo@home also provides other medical infusions and plans to also be able to offer these via Silver Chain, which currently provides an acute level of home nursing , including subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) services.
Ms Fisher says the agreement comes as an increasing range of patient services are being delivered outside of hospital walls.
“It is right that such services should be delivered at home, providing patients with the care they need, in the location they choose,” she says.
Ms Cook says the idea for the partnership had been “percolating” for a while but COVID-19 saw increased demand for patients to be treated at home and provided an immediate catalyst for action.
“When the pandemic hit, many people no longer wanted to go to hospital to get chemo as they feared potentially contracting coronavirus. This saw them delaying treatment,” Ms Cook said.
“As a result, treatment numbers more than doubled.”
The general benefits of offering patients critical cancer treatment at home are well recognised, especially for patients who may be immunosuppressed and vulnerable to infection outside their homes, she says.
Chemo@home and Silver Chain are currently finalising contracts for what they intend to be a permanent arrangement.
A spokeswoman for Silver Chain told Community Care Review chemotherapy is not a current product in Silver Chain Group’s service offering, to organisation given that we currently do provide an acute level of nursing in the home, such as subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) services.