Key messages

  • A Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic (SURC) is 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.

2020 Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic (SURC) funding round now open

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is inviting expressions of interest (EOI) from Victorian public health services for funding to undertake a local project to establish a Cancer Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic (SURC) within their health service.

The 2020 Grants Scheme will provide up to $110,000 to successful services over the next 13 months.

Applications are invited from Victorian public health services that provide more than 1,000 episodes of same day chemotherapy services per annum.

Key dates

  • Funding round opens - 28 February 2020
  • Closing date for EOI applications - 27 March 2020
  • EOI assessment process -  27 March 2020 – 17 April 2020
  • Successful sites advised - 20 April 2020
  • Project commencement - 1 July 2020

Applications will be accepted via the SmartyGrants website.

For any questions about this funding round, please email cancerplanning@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

For more information on how to apply, see the Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic applications guidelines and instructions.

Symptom and Urgent Review Clinic (SURC)

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, improved patient satisfaction throughout treatment and favourable clinician support, with ongoing SURC models / clinics in place at the following organisations:

  • Original SURC model (2014)
    • Western Health
  • Funded metropolitan sites (2017)
    • Austin Health – Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre
    • Eastern Health
    • Monash Health (Dandenong)
    • Royal Children's Hospital
  • Funded regional sites (2018)
    • Bendigo Health
    • Border Medical Oncology (Albury Wodonga Health Service)
    • Goulburn Valley Health
    • Latrobe Regional Hospital

In addition SURC models have been established via other funding models at:

  • Ballarat Health
  • Barwon Health
  • Northern Health – Epping

Community of Practice

A SURC Community of Practice provides 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.

The Community of Practice will be held up to three times during the project. Participation will be mandatory for funded sites. Details of the 2020 events will be communicated once confirmed.