The Cancer Reform Strategy Report vision for information includes the development and adoption of National Cancer Information Pathways which will make nationally agreed information available to frontline cancer health professionals to offer to patients at key points in their cancer journey.
National Cancer Information Pathways will help to ensure that accurate and comprehensive core information about cancer is accessible to all patients across England at the point of need.
They will enhance the quality of care given to patients with cancer or suspected cancer by ensuring that all patients are offered a full and comprehensive catalogue of information which has been developed both by local mapping activity and national collaborative workshops.
The Framework for Delivering National Cancer Information Pathways builds to existing policy initiatives and guidance, in particular:
- The NHS Executive Cancer Information Strategy (1998) which set out a programme for meeting the information needs of patients and carers to underpin the modernisation of cancer care. The National Cancer Information Pathways Framework both builds on the concepts within the strategy and on the work achieved under this strategy.
- The NHS Cancer Plan (2000) set out through investment and reform to end the post code lottery of cancer services and ensure patients had access to information about their care and treatment. The development of National Cancer Information Pathways builds on this concept further by ensuring that all patients have access to standard core information throughout the whole patient journey.
- The NICE Supportive and Palliative Care Guidance (2004) Key recommendation 8: commissioners and provider organisations should ensure that patients and carers have easy access to a range of high quality information materials about cancer and cancer services. National information pathways will allow commissioners to benchmark providers on the extent to which patients perceived they were offered and received cancer information.
The development of National Cancer Information Pathways is fundamentally to:
- Provide health care professionals with a core bank of information for all tumour types.
- Ensure that all patients have access to a seamless core minimum amount of information relevant for all of their patient journey which meets both cultural and spiritual needs.
- To provide commissioners with a minimum data set from which to benchmark patient access to core information.
- Provide a core base from which to develop information prescriptions.
Please cick here for further information on the Patient Information Prescriptions project.