A new pilot scheme to provide cancer patients with excellent care from their GP and other local health and support services has launched in the Thames Valley.
The Cancer Quality Award Scheme has been developed by Thames Valley Cancer Alliance in partnership with healthcare professionals and patient representatives. It describes what excellent care looks like for cancer patients outside of hospital, in their local community.
Over the next 12 months four Primary Care Networks in the Thames Valley – groups of general practices working together with local community services, social care and the voluntary sector – will take part in the scheme to improve patient experience, clinical outcomes and significantly reduce variation in cancer care.
Dr Anant Sachdev, Clinical Lead for Prevention and Early Diagnosis, Thames Valley Cancer Alliance said: “The NHS Long Term Plan made a commitment to ensure that by 2021, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including a needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information.
“GPs and other healthcare professionals working in primary care can play a key role in helping to care for and support cancer patients and that’s why we have introduced the Cancer Quality Award Scheme. Our ambition is that all cancer patients receive not just good, but excellent care from their GP practice.”
The Primary Care Networks will make improvements that aim to help prevent patients developing cancer and increase the number of people receiving an earlier diagnosis of cancer. They will also help ensure people receive more personalised care, so they have the right information and support as soon as they are diagnosed and throughout their cancer journey. The improvements include assisting cancer patients to access local health and wellbeing groups, such as financial and psychological support groups, and providing primary care staff with additional training that supports them to provide high quality cancer care for their patients.
As part of the pilot, Thames Valley Cancer Alliance will be developing a questionnaire that asks cancer patients about the care they receive from their GP, from cancer screening through to aftercare. It is the first time that cancer patients will be asked in detail about their experience of the care and support they receive from primary care professionals.
The Primary Care Networks taking part in the Thames Valley Cancer Quality Award Scheme are:
North Oxfordshire Rural Alliance – Oxfordshire CCG
The Health Triangle – East Berkshire CCG
Reading Primary Care Alliance – Berkshire West CCG
Dashwood – Buckinghamshire CCG
If it is successful, the aim is to roll the scheme out to other Primary Care Networks.