1. National Cancer Quality Programme
Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action (2016) 1 details a commitment to delivering the national cancer quality programme across NHSScotland, with a recognised need for national cancer QPIs to support a culture of continuous quality improvement. Addressing variation in the quality of cancer services is pivotal to delivering improvements in quality of care. This is best achieved if there is consensus and clear indicators for what good cancer care looks like.
Small sets of cancer specific outcome focussed, evidence based indicators are in place for 18 different tumour types. These are underpinned by patient experience QPIs that are applicable to all, irrespective of tumour type. These QPIs ensure that activity is focused on those areas that are most important in terms of improving survival and individual care experience whilst reducing variation and supporting the most effective and efficient delivery of care for people with cancer. QPIs are kept under regular review and are responsive to changes in clinical practice and emerging evidence.
A programme to review and update the QPIs in line with evolving evidence is in place as well as robust mechanism by which additional QPIs will be developed over the coming years.
1.1 Quality Assurance and Continuous Quality Improvement
The ultimate aim of the programme is to develop a framework, and foster a culture of, continuous quality improvement, whereby real time data is reviewed regularly at an individual Multi Disciplinary Team ( MDT)/Unit level and findings actioned to deliver continual improvements in the quality of cancer care. This will be underpinned and supported by a programme of regional and national comparative reporting and review.
NHS Boards will be required to report against QPIs as part of a mandatory, publicly reported, programme at a national level. A rolling programme of reporting is in place, with approximately three national tumour specific reports published annually. National reports include comparative reporting of performance against QPIs at MDT/Unit level across NHSScotland, trend analysis and survival. This approach will help overcome existing issues relating to the reporting of small volumes in any one year.
In the intervening years tumour specific QPIs will be monitored on an annual basis through established Regional Cancer Network and local governance processes, with analysed data submitted to Information Services Division ( ISD) for inclusion in subsequent national reports. This approach will ensure that timely action is taken in response to any issues that may be identified through comparative reporting and systematic review.