John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


For a coordination of the supportive care for people affected by severe illnesses: proposition of organization in the public and private health care centres Volume 91, issue 5, Mai 2004


The concept of continuous and global care is acknowledged today by all as inherent to modern medicine. A working group gathered to propose models for the coordination of supportive care for all severe illnesses in the various private and public health care centres. The supportive care are defined as: "all care and supports necessary for ill people, at the same time as specific treatments, along all severe illnesses". This definition is inspired by that of "supportive care" given in 1990 by the MASCC (Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer): "The total medical, nursing and psychosocial help which the patients need besides the specific treatment". It integrates as much the field of cure with possible after‐effects as that of palliative care, the definition of which is clarified (initial and terminal palliative phases). Such a coordination is justified by the pluridisciplinarity and hyperspecialisation of the professionals, by a poor communication between the teams, by the administrative difficulties encountered by the teams participating in the supportive care. The working group insists on the fact that the supportive care is not a new speciality. He proposes the creation of units, departments or pole of responsibility of supportive care with a "basic coordination" involving the activities of chronic pain, palliative care, psycho‐oncology, and social care. This coordination can be extended, according to the "history" and missions of health care centres. Service done with the implementation of a "unique counter" for the patients and the teams is an important point. The structure has to comply with the terms and conditions of contract (Consultation, Unit or Centre of chronic pain, structures of palliative care, of psycho‐oncology, of nutrition, of social care). A common technical organization is one of the interests. The structure has to set up strong links with the private practitioners, the networks, the home medical care (HAD) and the nurses services at home (SSIAD), when they exist, to guarantee the continuity of the supportive care under all its aspects and in order to take into account the preferences of the patients. According to Hospital 2007 propositions, the extended, flexible and general purpose Group of Sanitary Cooperation (GCS) meets the necessities inherent to the structures of supportive care within the territories of health because it can be established between one or several health care centres and the private health professionals, thus favouring the cooperation between public and private health care centres, PSPH and general medicine.