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Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2005 Dec;17(8):604-9.

An audit of clinical resources available for the care of head and neck cancer patients in England.

Author information

  • 1National Clinical Leads for Head and Neck Cancer, UK. patrick.bradley@qmcuh-tr.trent.nhs.uk

Abstract

AIMS:

Thirty-four cancer networks are now responsible for the delivery of head and neck cancer services in England. A survey of all cancer networks was carried out to define the services available for the diagnosis, treatment and support of patients with head and neck cancer.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Fifty-two cancer units were identified in England from the Cancer Services Collaborative 'Improvement Partnership', and approached through a variety of methods. One questionnaire was circulated to all 34 network leads to establish the services and resources in each network. A second questionnaire was circulated to all known head and neck teams in the UK.

RESULTS:

Multidisciplinary team (MDT) working was evident in all centres, although frequently the MDT was not fully staffed, especially in areas of national staff shortages, such as in pathology, radiology, dietetics and speech therapy. Rapid referral pathways were present for initial assessment of patients, but clinically significant delays were identified in complex investigations, access to intensive care beds and oncological care, especially radiotherapy.

CONCLUSION:

Major changes in service configuration are likely to be required if the current national targets of time to diagnosis and treatment are to be met.

PMID:
16372485
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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