What is the Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services Network?
The Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services Network is a partnership of patients, carers, healthcare professionals (both clinical and managerial) and voluntary sector representatives who work together to ensure that the cancer services provided within the area are of the highest possible standard, and clearly reflect the needs of the patients using them.
What does the Cancer Network do?
The prime function of the Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Services Network is to work with patients and healthcare professionals to ensure that those people with cancer have access to the best possible quality of care and information to maximise the chance of the best possible outcome.
The Network is responsible for implementing the Cancer Plan and Cancer Reform Strategy, and for securing improvements in local cancer services. It is also responsible for developing guidelines, implementing good practice, co-ordinating expert clinical advice, management and local strategy; working together to improve quality of care and address any inequalities in provision and access.
For more information and for an up-to-date summary of our activities over the past year, please see our Annual Report 2010 11 [pdf] 3MB.
History / background
The 1995 Calman Hine Report outlined radical reform of the UK's cancer services with the aim of improving outcomes and reducing inequalities in NHS cancer care. Its main recommendation was to concentrate care into the hands of site-specialist, multi-disciplinary teams.
The NHS Cancer Plan was published in September 2000 and outlined a 10-year programme to improve cancer services and outcomes, with targets, actions and milestones to be achieved by 2010. It aims to save more lives; ensure people with cancer get the right professional support and care as well as the best treatment; tackle the inequalities in health; and build for the future through investment in the cancer workforce, through strong research and thorough preparation for the genetics revolution, so that the NHS never falls behind in cancer again.
The principles behind cancer networks require that their constituent organisations have a duty of partnership to work together effectively to improve cancer services for the benefit of patients. They are responsible for implementing the NHS Cancer Plan and for securing improvements in local cancer services. Each network is a matrix organisation bringing together all cancer services in a locality. Headed by a Network Board, and with a core management team, networks comprise Hospital Trusts, Primary Care Trusts, Hospices, local authorities and include patient and carer involvement. They are responsible for developing guidelines, implementing good practice, co-ordinating expert clinical advice, management and local strategy; working together to improve quality of care and address any inequalities in provision and access.