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  • NHS cancer patient care ‘the best it’s ever been’…

    NHS England has published new ratings providing an overview of how well different areas of the UK are diagnosing, treating and supporting cancer patients.

    The Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework, which is based on data published within the last two years, details the ‘initial baseline rating’ for six clinical priority areas – including cancer – and all ratings are broken down by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), indicating areas that are in need of improvement as well as pinpointing best practices.

    The overall rating for cancer is based on four indicators or metrics: early diagnosis, 62 day waits after referral, one year survival, and overall patient experience.

    NHS England suggests that Cancer Alliances will play a key role in joining together local leaders, including from CCGs, to help drive improvement in cancer outcomes; reducing variation and the promotion of sharing best practice methods.

    A spokesperson for NHS England said: “NHS cancer patients’ care is now the best it’s ever been, but we’ve set stretching goals to save thousands more lives by 2020. Measured against this ambition it’s not surprising that most local services need to make further improvements, but we’re going to track progress transparently so everyone can see how we are improving care and outcomes for patients.

    “Over the past four years adult smoking rates are down by nearly one million people demonstrating the benefits of a comprehensive public health policy. This will be the single biggest contributor to reduced cancer deaths.

    “On top of current funding, this year we are also investing an extra £15 million in improving early diagnosis and setting up Cancer Alliances to bring together leadership across local areas to drive improvements.”

    Despite the positive outlook from NHS England, the new ratings have prompted the executive director of policy and impact at Macmillan Cancer Support, Dr Fran Woodard, to comment on how the NHS is ‘poorly’ performing in delivering appropriate care and diagnosing patients: “The fact that so many CCGs in England have been identified as providing inadequate care to cancer patients, or requiring improvements in this area, is very concerning. It highlights just how much the NHS is struggling to meet the challenge of delivering cancer services which meet all the critical needs of people with cancer.”
    Read the Framework here


    Jack Wynn

    All stories by: Jack Wynn

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