What this means for NHS Boards
Access to patient centred, safe and effective care is a priority for all territorial Boards. The National Delivery Plan, which provided front line funding for many specialist children's services across Scotland recognised that:
"the need for children to be able to access specialist care is self evident. The challenges faced in providing such care are very real, not least because the number of children requiring highly specialist care within any given specialty is often small…
"…this…is not just about hospital provision, it is about improving the care of children and young people through a network of services working together."
Through establishment of the single service for Scotland, which the Managed Service Network for Children and Young People with Cancer has been set up to deliver, NHS Boards can be assured that services will be safe, effective and most of all patient centred.
The MSN does not exist as an independent entity but is a vehicle of the NHS Boards, Scottish Government and a variety of interest groups to ensure that the care for children and young people across Scotland with a diagnosis of cancer is optimal. To deliver care as a single service the MSN will be the vehicle through which these interfaces and interdependencies will be identified and addressed.
Where necessary, the MSN will facilitate Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between service providers, such as the SLA agreed between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Grampian to provide support in times of exceptional need. The MSN will broker such arrangements as are necessary to ensure one virtual service across Scotland.
There are a number of specific actions for NHS Boards to ensure that the ambitions of this plan will be delivered.
- The MSN for Children and Young People with Cancer is jointly accountable to Scottish Government and territorial NHS Boards. NHS Boards must commit to the MSN and work with it to achieve the service improvements required.
- NHS Board representation at the MSN Board and on the Operational Delivery Group, will ensure that NHS Boards can shape the service development within the MSN and that those decisions can be given operational effect within NHS Board services.
- Clinicians within NHS Boards are key to the success of a single service for Scotland. Recognising that any change in the way services are planned and delivered will impact on the daily working lives of clinical staff, within Boards. NHS Boards will be expected to work with the MSN, through the Board and the various sub-groups to influence these changes and to ensure that, when agreed, these are given operational effect within Boards.
- In establishing the MSN, Scottish Government and NHS Scotland agreed that the MSN Board should have oversight of key appointments, particularly in relation to senior clinical staff. NHS Boards must ensure that the MSN Board is involved in decisions in relation to the recruitment and replacement of senior medical staff involved in delivering cancer care to children and young people.
- NHS Boards must ensure that their data collection systems are robust and can provide the data required to monitor care of children and young people with cancer.
Email: Fiona McKinlay