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Review of cancer services in England and Wales reveals poor coordination

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7326.1388h (Published 15 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1388
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    Cancer services in England and Wales have improved in response to recent guidelines, but lack of coordination means that some patients still receive poor care, reported a major review published this week.

    The report was prepared by the Audit Commission, an independent governmental body, and the Commission for Health Improvement, which reports to the Department of Health. It is the first in a series of reviews of the implementation of national service frameworks (NSFs) in different specialties.

    Researchers assessed the current state of cancer services and how far they have developed since the publication of the Calman-Hine report in 1995. This report recommended major organisational changes, based on the introduction of cancer centres and units working together within cancer networks. It also recommended increased professional specialisation in cancer care and closer team working in those providing such care. The implementation of more recent guidelines, including the Cancer Plan for England (2000), which set out a policy framework for cancer services, was also assessed.

    The review was based on visits to eight randomly selected cancer networks in England (based on centres providing substantial radiotherapy services, typically covering a population of about 1.5 million), including one nearby unit and …

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