Referral information for GPs

When should I refer a patient?

Accordion Content

It is appropriate to consider referral to the Psycho-Oncology Service when the cancer patients, carer or family member:

  • Is experiencing chronic elevated distress that is impacting on pain or symptom control, or their ability to complete cancer treatment
  • Is experiencing chronic elevated distress to the extent that resumption of activities of daily living or important relationships are threatened
  • Has a past history of mental health concerns
  • Is experiencing severe anxiety or depression
  • Is hyper vigilant, experiencing panic attacks or is highly irritable
  • Is describing illness specific phobias (such as needle phobia)
  • Is exhibiting behaviours that are difficult to manage
  • Is reporting issues with body image or sexuality concerns
  • Is concerned by chronic disruption to sleep, appetite and/or concentration.

Outpatient psycho-oncology services are provided on Level 2 of the Cancer Care Centre at Wollongong hospital. Referrals for Psycho-oncology services are accepted from Medical Specialists including General Practitioners, Surgeons and Palliative Care specialists; Geneticists and Allied Health clinicians. This is a free service.

What are the inclusion and exclusion criteria for referral?

Accordion Content

Referrals are accepted for:

  • adults and young persons (15 years and over) living with cancer, residing/working/or being treated in the Illawarra or Shoalhaven.
  • Family members or carers of an adults or young person (15 years and over) living with cancer, residing/working/or being treated in the Illawarra or Shoalhaven.
  • Clients and family members of the Genetics Service

Appointments can be made by calling Illawarra Cancer Care reception, specifying the required appointment is for the psycho-oncology service. Patients should bring their referral letter with them to the first appointment.

For further information or to discuss a specific referral ask to speak to the psycho-oncology service.

Exclusion Criteria

Children and adolescents under the age of 15 years (parents may be seen by the service to discuss appropriate strategies to help the young individual).