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The story of cancer is changing. More people than ever before are being diagnosed in Northern Ireland.
Earlier detection and better treatments have greatly increased the numbers living with cancer as a long-term condition. Services designed to provide care and support must continue to improve, in order to meet the rising demand and help people to live well during and after cancer treatment.
Macmillan supports the ongoing reforms and modernisation of health and social care that have been driven by the Assembly in recent years, but more needs to be done to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.
Transforming Cancer Follow Up (TCFU) Programme
During the previous Assembly mandate, Macmillan worked with the Health and Social Care Board, the Public Health Agency and the Northern Ireland Cancer Network to develop the Transforming Cancer Follow Up (TCFU) programme.
Pathway redesign initially took place for new breast cancer patients and is now being implemented across a range of other areas. The results so far indicate that TCFU has been very successful in replacing the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach to aftercare with a new system that has improved patient experience whilst reducing duplication and unnecessary appointments.
Cancer strategy in Northern Ireland
Macmillan is also supporting calls for a cancer strategy to cover the whole pathway. We believe the development of a strategy would be an important step towards modernising services and reducing variation in the availability and quality of care. It is essential that any strategy has a strong emphasis on patient experience and the needs of people living with and beyond cancer. In the meantime, we look forward to the publication of the revised Cancer Services Framework.
For more information:
- Get involved with our campaign
- Read about the evaluation of the Transforming Cancer Follow Up programme
- Get in touch with Michael Moore, Policy Officer NI