New ‘see and treat’ clinic to slash waiting lists

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Pictured: Dr Michael Wagels, Melanie Hickson, Hon Dr Steven Miles and Ms Petersen

A new specialist skin cancer clinic at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital has officially opened today, thanks to funding from the Futures Project Opportunity.

Metro South Health received $485,000 for an 18 month pilot of a plastics specialist outpatient clinic known as SLAM - Skin Lesion Assessment Management. The model focuses on improving specialist outpatient services at PAH, and is sponsored by our Healthcare Improvement Unit (HIU).

Under the SLAM model, patients with non-melanoma skin malignancies (comprising squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma lesions of the head and neck) receive an appointment in the Plastic Surgery Unit and undergo their procedure on the same day. The approach drastically reduces waiting times to be seen and treated, which under clinical recommendations could take up to six months.

SLAM is one of 11 projects funded as part of the Futures Project, which was established under the New Models of Care (NMC) initiative of the Specialist Outpatient Strategy.

PAH Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr Michael Wagels said up to ten patients could be seen in each SLAM clinic, which would run once a fortnight for the first year.

Springwood resident, 67-year-old Hilda Petersen was one of the first Queenslanders to benefit.

“With cancer, there’s that intense fear that it could become worse while you wait. It’s such a relief to have the option to have it removed in one hospital appointment,” Ms Petersen said.

Deputy Director-General Clinical Excellence Division Dr John Wakefield said the Futures Project Opportunity, a component of NMC, provided Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) with funding to implement novel and innovative solutions that address challenges in delivering specialist outpatient services.

“Health services apply for a grant and are assessed against a range of criteria that relate to addressing demand for specialist outpatient services, improving patient outcomes or experiences, and sustainability.”

“The one-off payments provide HHSs with the confidence to pursue innovative ideas,” Dr Wakefield said.

“We can then ‘scale up’ their model to other health services, thereby building on their successes and spreading the benefits to other patients and treating teams across the state.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Dr Michael Wagels, Melanie Hickson, Hon Dr Steven Miles and Ms Petersen .

Last updated: 20 March 2018