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Board Backs Plan for Local Cancer Care

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Work to further develop an innovative new model aiming to treat cancer patients in, or closer to, their homes was given the go ahead at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Board meeting today (Tuesday, 18 December). 

The new model of treatment, developed in partnership with clinicians and patients across the West of Scotland, will help meet the steadily increasing demand for cancer treatment. There was a 35% increase from 2013 to 2017 with a further expected increase of up to 40% by 2025. The new model would free up space in the Beatson and cancer units to focus on more complex treatments which require more medical input as well as clinical trials. 

The new ways of working were drawn up by the professional West of Scotland Cancer Network who studied cancer treatment across the region’s four health boards. A patient experience survey was carried out in 2017 in all units delivering day case cancer treatment. Further public and carer engagement was carried out in early 2018 including focus groups in each board area. 

From this a number of recommendations have been made for the re-design of cancer services across the region: 

  • Other healthcare workers should play a greater role in pre-assessment and prescribing of SACT (systemic anti-cancer therapies e.g. chemotherapy)
  • For some rare cancers, patients should be assessed at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre and treatment delivered within their local Board area
  • Outreach services should be developed to provide SACT closer to home
  • Shared care models of monitoring and prescribing should be further developed to safely manage patients in primary care as an alternative to regular hospital attendance
  • The use of community pharmacies should be maximised to dispense oral SACT as an alternative to hospital dispensing. 

One key new proposed approach is that patients attending their chemotherapy pre-assessment appointment may see a nurse, pharmacist or other healthcare staff instead of a doctor. The consultant in charge of a patient’s care would not change as a result of the strategic review and they would continue to oversee and manage the patient’s care.  

The board today signalled their support for the new approach and approved the development of specific proposals for NHSGGC and further engagement with patients, carers and staff. 

Dr Jennifer Armstrong, medical director, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “The overarching goal of this work is to deliver safe and sustainable services while providing the best possible care for cancer patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

“Through the model outlined in the regional review, we want to minimise waiting times for patients and ensure they receive their care in a way that is more convenient and closer to home wherever possible.” 

Dr David Dodds, Chief of Medicine, Regional Services, added:  “This means that more patients would be able to have treatment at their local cancer unit or outreach treatment centre instead of travelling to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow. 

“Patient and carer engagement on the model of care has been undertaken across our Board area – and our three other partners in the West of Scotland – with the principals of the model being widely supported.” 


Notes to editor 

The emerging model is aligned to the National Strategy ‘Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action” and will inform the new regional arrangements as part of the West of Scotland Regional Delivery Plan. 

The regional review has been undertaken by a short life working group which includes clinical and management representation from each of the four West of Scotland Cancer Network Boards, Primary Care, Directors of Pharmacy, Directors of Nursing and Regional Planning. 

The network is committed to trying to prevent cancer, improve the patient experience and improve the outcome for the individual patient at each stage of their cancer journey. WoSCAN serves a population of 2.5 million people (approximately 46.5% of the Scottish population) and provides some specialist services for patients from other areas of Scotland including the Western Isles and Dumfries & Galloway.

For further media information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected] 

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Last Updated: 18 December 2018