Friday 7th September 2012
A study by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde suggests that introducing multidisciplinary teams to the area has improved the survival rates of women who have undergone surgery for breast cancer.
Multidisciplinary teams were introduced to Glasgow in 1995. Before their introduction, mortality from breast cancer was 11% higher in Glasgow than in surrounding health board areas in the west of Scotland.
The study, which was published in the BMJ in April, shows that after multidisciplinary teams were adopted, mortality from breast cancer was 18% lower than in other areas where individual health professionals were responsible for the same decisions. Survival improved in all areas throughout the 1990s, but even more in Glasgow after multidisciplinary teams were introduced.
Project manager Eileen Kesso, who carried out the study, says the introduction of multidisciplinary teams, ‘marked a new development in the delivery of cancer services, but until now there has not been any strong evidence that they made a difference to a patient’s survival’.