An important component of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) is the follow-up of participants with a positive FOBT result. In December 2012, VCS following a tender process was contracted by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, to operate the Participant Follow-up Function (PFUF) to support the Victorian component of the NBCSP. PFUF is performed in conjunction with safety net reminder letters sent to ensure that participants with a positive FOBT who have apparently not yet visited a healthcare professional or undertaken an assessment colonoscopy, progress along the screening pathway and receive the appropriate recommended care.
The project required the transition of PFUF services from DHHS to VCS. The project commenced in December 2012 with the new PFUF service to be operational by March 2013. The project required the establishment of a PFUF workforce, connectivity with the national register and the scoping, development and implementation of a PFUF administrative system to support the operational needs of the PFUF including the distribution and allocation of staff workloads to meet NBCSP PFUF minimum guidelines, the ability to internally monitor and record status checks, the ability to record contact with participants and outcomes, and the extraction of data for state and commonwealth reporting.
VCS worked closely and effectively with DHHS to deliver the project successfully within a tight timeframe. Staff were recruited into PFUF Officer roles and provided with both high level training from the Commonwealth and with specific local level training from within VCS. Supporting policies, procedures and telephone scripts were developed in accordance with the guidelines and local requirements. Reporting requirements to meet the Department’s and Commonwealth needs were also established during project delivery. VCS successfully commenced the PFUF in Victoria in March 2013, only four months after being contracted to provide the service. Since then we have continued to provide a vital role in supporting the progression of Victorian participants through the NBCSP pathway in accordance with the PFUF guidelines.