Key elements - CanNET

CanNET is a health services model that ensures better access to quality cancer care, and improves cancer outcomes, particularly for people in regional and rural areas.

CanNET involves the development of processes and systems to effectively link health care providers in different regions and organisations into single cancer service networks, enabling them to work in a coordinated manner to deliver evidence-based cancer care. It will improve cancer outcomes by ensuring that care is focused on the needs of people affected by cancer, and by enabling more people affected by cancer to access evidence-based treatment and support services closer to home.

Key elements

The CanNET model (PDF 263KB) is based on several key elements:

  • active consumer engagement;
  • agreed referral pathways, multidisciplinary care and primary care involvement;
  • clinical leadership;
  • continuing professional development;
  • quality assurance; and
  • role redesign.

Improved cancer outcomes occur when these key elements are combined with person-centred care, equitable access, better coordinated cancer services and the best available evidence for practice.

A cancer service network provides a platform for consumers and clinicians to work in partnership to narrow the gap between current evidence and practice.

Needs-based approach

People with cancer and their families want the best possible care as close to home as practicable. In recognition of this, CanNET is underpinned by a 'needs-based approach to the delivery of services' (PDF 36KB), as illustrated in this diagram. This approach identifies three distinct groups of people affected by cancer, based on their treatment and care needs:

1. People who can be diagnosed, assessed and treated locally.

2. People who require assessment elsewhere but who may be able to receive part or all of their ongoing treatment locally.

3. People who need to be diagnosed elsewhere and whose complex care needs and/or multi-modal treatment requirements necessitate ongoing treatment provided by a major cancer service, away from where they live.

Services need to be designed to respond appropriately to the needs of each of these groups. CanNET will support state and territory governments to undertake the service reforms necessary to ensure the most efficient use of current services, and to plan appropriately for increasing demand. 

Evidence for the CanNET model

The CanNET program was developed  through extensive consultation and careful examination of overseas models and experience. A cancer service network has the potential to provide accessible, coordinated and responsive cancer services to all Australians wherever they live.