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As part of the coalition government’s information revolution, it wishes to see greater collection and sharing of data and information. It wants to empower patients so that they can make more informed choices about their health, treatment and care.
Liberating the NHS: an information revolution
After several delays, the coalition government is expected to respond to the consultation on its information strategy later in the year. The strategy promotes personalised care planning discussions that focus on the needs and wants of those with long-term conditions. It says that people need, ‘information and support that enables them to understand clearly both their own situation and the options open to them’.
The aim is for people to take more personal responsibility and fully participate in decision-making. The strategy also continues to promote patients’ access to their health records. In fact, the government has begun to write to patients in England about the introduction of the Summary Care Record (SCR), which will give patients access to their records. For more information, visit the Department of Health website|.
Improving outcomes: a strategy for cancer
The new strategy for cancer stresses the need to improve the care and support given to cancer survivors. In particular, the coalition government wants to see improvements in the outcomes for people living with and beyond cancer.
The strategy suggests that following cancer treatment, people should be offered, ‘a personalised, risk stratified pathway of care, following assessment and care planning. The assessment will include needs associated with the individual, the disease and the treatment. The pathway will include an end of treatment record summary shared between the cancer centre and primary care team, and the care plan will be coordinated so that it addresses the full range of needs of those with co-morbidities’. Download |Improving outcomes| [PDF, 1008kb].
The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI)
This initiative is a partnership between the Department of Health and Macmillan, and is supported by NHS Improvement. The aim of the NCSI is, by 2012, to have taken the necessary steps to ensure that people living with cancer get the care and support they need, to lead as healthy and active a life as possible, for as long as possible.
The NCSI Vision document provides an update on the first year of the NCSI and describes its emerging vision for improved care and support for people living with and beyond cancer. Download the NCSI Vision document| [PDF, 1.44mb].
National Cancer Patient Experience Survey
The last National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (2010) included questions directly related to the ability of those in general practice to care for patients during treatment, as well as the information given to GPs about the patient’s condition and treatment.
Only 61% of patients said different people (ie GPs, hospital doctors/nurses, specialists and community nurses) treating and caring for them always worked well together to give them the best possible care. However, 93% of patients said their GP was given enough information about their condition and hospital treatment.
The survey is likely to be repeated again in the near future. For more information, visit the Quality Health website|.
Better Cancer Care
The Scottish Government’s action plan for cancer services includes a chapter dedicated to survivorship. It sets out details of a working group looking at how NHS Scotland can better support people living with and beyond cancer. Download Better cancer care| [PDF, 1.6mb].
Services Framework for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Care
The Northern Ireland Executive’s Service Framework sets out explicit standards for health and social care, helping health and social care organisations to plan and deliver services. The standards state that all patients should receive a holistic assessment at the end of each treatment episode and should be actively involved in decision making with regards to their aftercare arrangements. They should receive a permanent record of the agreed plan. Download The Northern Ireland Executive's Service Framework| [PDF, 1.5mb].
Chronic Conditions Management Demonstrators Programme
The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has been testing service models for chronic conditions. The WAG has published the findings of this programme in its Year 2 report. Download the Chronic Conditions Management Demonstrators Programme year two report| [PDF, 1.9mb].
Promoting Treatment Summary
Macmillan and the NCSI| have produced a supplement about the Treatment Summary for the Health Services Journal. They are planning to now concentrate on promoting the tool through various publications. They have applied for an Excellence in Oncology Award and have applied to submit a poster to the Cancer Care Congress in September 2011. Other plans include applying for Treatment Summary to become a Peer Review Measure and promoting the tool to patients.
Part one - Treatment summary: improving communication between cancer services and primary care|.
Part two - A secondary care perspective|.
Part three - A primary care perspective|.
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