Based on a survey of people living with and after cancer, including young cancer patients, the report found that only one in three respondents thought that they had experienced integrated or "joined-up" care. The fact that some of these were very positive indicates that it is possible to provide an integrated pattern of care and that best practice exists in the NHS. However, the results of the survey also indicate that more could be done to improve the experience of cancer patients with the CCG arguing that integration must be at the heart of local and national planning for cancer services.
Commenting on the report, Katie McDowell, Policy & Public Affairs Manager at CLIC Sargent and a member of the CCG Steering Group said: "We know the importance of coordinated care to children and young people with cancer and their families – this means specialist hospitals and local services working together to ensure the child or young person and their family receive the support they need to deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment.
"This report from the Cancer Campaigning Group highlights that whilst good practice exists, more needs to be done to ensure that cancer patients of all ages receive coordinated and seamless care, support, information and treatment."
The survey highlighted five key areas where patients thought improvements could be made to deliver integrated care. These were:
- Securing quicker referral from GPs to hospitals for testing and diagnosis
- Ensuring patients find out the results of their tests as quickly as possible
- Providing patients with access to a named clinical nurse specialist or other 'key worker' throughout the care pathway
- Supporting patients to feel involved in key decisions about their treatment and care
- Putting systems in place to make sure records and test results are available to all clinicians and staff involved in patients' care
Read the full CCG report.