The Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) outpatient oncology program is undergoing some changes of August 1, 2022.
About the outpatient oncology program at Headwaters Health Care Centre
We are part of a Regional Cancer Program within Cancer Care Ontario, which is an integral part of Ontario Health. This program is a network of hospitals and other agencies which provide cancer prevention, screening, diagnostic, treatment, and support services across the province. Regional Cancer Programs are part of Ontario’s cancer system leading and informing local strategy to provide person-centred, safe, equitable, efficient, effective, and timely cancer care on a foundation of quality improvement principles.
The Mississauga Halton Central West Regional Cancer Program (MHCW) oversees the delivery and quality of cancer services for communities in the Central West and Mississauga Halton region. We are one of four hospitals across ten sites providing care, including Halton Healthcare, Trillium Health Partners, and William Osler Health System (Osler).
Osler and Headwaters have a longstanding partnership that was developed to provide satellite outpatient oncology services at our hospital. This partnership allows cancer patients in our community to receive timely access to care close to home.
What stays the same
The outpatient oncology program at Headwaters will remain open. All intravenous chemotherapy treatment will continue at Headwaters as it is currently. Newly diagnosed patients will continue to have their initial consultation with their oncologist at Osler.
There will be no staffing impacts at Headwaters because of these changes. Our staff will continue to work together in partnership with our patients, families, and caregivers along the steps of their cancer journey.
What is changing
Starting August 1, 2022, there will be some changes in the delivery of care. Patients who become unwell during treatment and need to see their oncologist for care management will have those visits scheduled at Osler. Patients who have completed the chemotherapy treatment portion of their cancer care will receive their follow-up care with their oncologist and will have those visits at Osler. This means that patients will be able to communicate directly with their oncologist, a specialist in the treatment of their type of cancer.
For patients undergoing chemotherapy cycles, they will see their own oncologist with tumour site expertise in person for check-in visits at Osler. Patients and their oncologist may choose to do these visits virtually by telephone or video visits from home if clinically indicated. We are working to offer other potential onsite virtual options at Headwaters. More details on this option will be coming soon.
Through this change, patients will have access to additional services at Osler such as research trials, a survivorship clinic, and other clinical service providers such as dietitians, social workers, and cardio-oncology clinics.
With these changes, we will be able to increase access to intravenous chemotherapy treatment at Headwaters and be able to see more patients in our local community.
We appreciate that this news may be difficult for some of our patients, families, and caregivers. Seeing an oncologist in person at Headwaters has been our process for some time.
We also recognize that travel to Osler may be a challenge for some people. Whenever possible, we will do our best to work with you and arrange for virtual visit options.
We want to thank patients, families, and caregivers who responded to our survey earlier this year and provided valuable feedback about what was important to them. We heard you tell us that you value the relationship that you have with our staff; you value this outpatient service in our community; you want to see your own specialist face-to-face or have direct contact of some kind and that travel might be a barrier.
As we plan for oncology services going forward, we will work diligently to incorporate this feedback. We will work closely with our patients, families, and caregivers to ensure any changes are well-planned and are customized to their care needs. We are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for everyone.
Catherine Cotton, Interim Vice President, Patient Experience & Health Integration