The delivery of high quality cancer care is the top priority for our cancer alliance. The focus on quality ensures that the best interests of people affected by cancer, is at the heart of everything we do.

To achieve this we are working with a range of partners including patients, cancer specialists, other health professionals; and experts from education and research to develop and deliver improvements across the whole cancer pathway. The pathway represents the different stages of care that a person affected by cancer will go through, from the point of referral to treatment and beyond.

Our initial work is focussing on some of the most common cancers including Lung, Prostate, Bowel and Breast which affect a high number of people in our region. In addition to this we are looking at less common cancer pathways such as Head and Neck cancer where care can be complex.

The overall aim of the work is to make sure that people affected by cancer get equal access to the right treatment, by the right people and at the right time. We want people affected by cancer to have the best experience of care regardless of where they live in our region; and that we use our NHS resources efficiently.

Examples of things we are working on 

MDT Effectiveness

MDT meetings are one of the ways we bring together professionals from across all the different elements of cancer care to develop the best care and treatment plans for patients. Decisions are holistic and consider the physical, psychological/emotional, social needs and wishes of the individual patient. MDTs have been in existence for a long time and we know that there are elements we need to improve to ensure patient safety and high quality care remains at the heart of what we do; and that the time of the specialists involved is used as efficiently as possible. We’re working across the system to identify the best way of developing regional and local standards of MDTs, learning from best practice and listening to everybody’s views to shape how we improve things.

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Genomics

We are working to look at how we bring advances in scientific knowledge around cancer and genes into cancer pathway delivery, so that cancer treatments can be better targeted to an individual’s disease. The work will aim to embed delivery of the National Genomic Test Directory; which defines the genomic testing that should be offered to people affected by different types of cancer. 

High Value Pathways

The term cancer pathway refers to the stages of care a person will go through from the point of referral, to diagnosis, through treatment and aftercare. We are working with and through multiple partners to deliver the highest standards of cancer care across the region’s pathways. We want to ensure that people have the best possible experience and treatment. 

Pathway improvements will be defined through joint working between patients and cancer teams.

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