Tuesday 16th December 2014
Mac Voice, the magazine for Macmillan professionals: Winter 2014
Gordon McLean on Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT): a Scottish initiative which recognises that cancer care should not stop when treatment ends, but continue until the individual no longer needs support
We know the current system of care doesn’t meet all the needs of people who have had a diagnosis of cancer in Scotland, with many unsure where to turn for emotional support, financial advice, practical help or even guidance on coping with the side effects of treatment.
That’s why we are working with the Scottish Government, the NHS, local authorities and other agencies, to try and create a better system through the Transforming Care After Cancer Treatment (TCAT) programme.
This system will give people support and care based on their individual needs for as long as they need it – not only until treatment ends.
How the programme works
With support from the Scottish Government, Macmillan is funding a £5m programme which aims to transform care after treatment ends.
There are two main strands to our TCAT work. Firstly we want to make sure a wide range of support, from practical help to financial advice, is available to those recovering from cancer until they no longer need it – even if that’s months or years after treatment ends.
Secondly, we must move away from the onesize-fits-all system of cancer follow-up care to more individually tailored aftercare. Some people affected by cancer will require consultant-led follow up. However, a growing proportion can be prepared and supported to self-manage, with remote monitoring and timely re-access to the system initiated either by themselves or professionals.
We’re working with the NHS to move towards this kind of aftercare for people with cancer, and while we are still at the very early stages of this project, we are seeing encouraging progress since its launch in 2013. The programme is focusing on testing new ways of doing things and evaluating their success before trying to roll out their impact more widely. The programme is now entering its second phase, which is focusing on projects developed by local authority and primary care partners.
Involving people with cancer experiences
To further support the programme, a TCAT Cancer Experience Panel has recently been established. The panel consists of people who have had cancer or been carers, who ensure the programme is improving experiences for people with cancer. The panel has been given a number of responsibilities, including looking over submitted expressions of interest for proposed projects, and supporting the prioritisation process to decide which projects are to be progressed through the programme.
Macmillan’s aim is quite simple: we want to transform cancer care in Scotland. There is still a lot of work to do but we believe we are on the right path to make sure the Scotland of the future will be a place where no one needs to face cancer alone.
Contact Gordon McLean, National Programme Manager, Transforming Care After Treatment (TCAT)
Read about other cancer care initiatives happening in Scotland in our In Focus**** articles.