In many GP surgeries a cancer patient is like an express train passing through … symptoms, a test or two and then referral to MK Hospital or beyond … and then, whoosh. Treatment takes place elsewhere and the patient, in the main, disappears off the practice’s immediate radar.
However as you know, increasingly cancer is becoming a disease which patients live with, long term. In addition, because cancer patients in remission may well be dealing longer term with a) side-effects from harsh cancer treatments and b) other co-morbidity health issues which can be impacted by cancer treatment … in brief, they come home to roost in the GPs’ surgery.
Patients’ discharge back into the community – how well does this really work?
Although there are fairly clear protocols in place to facilitate patients’ discharge back into the community, we all know that this process doesn’t always work out as effectively as it could. In addition, community healthcare professionals – understandably, given their workloads – aren’t always aware of all the amenities there are for recovering or continuing cancer patients in MK and surrounding areas.
NHS England: new measures bring primary and secondary cancer care closer together
At a Thames Valley regional conference in October 2015 Dr Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer with NHS England, announced their new Cancer Taskforce to bring about commissioning for better cancer outcomes nationwide.
Key to the objective of earlier diagnosis will be a progressive streamlining of primary and secondary care; and more robust measures will be put in place to involve primary care more, for patients living with and beyond cancer.
The Milton Keynes Cancer Patient Partnership (MKCPP) and how it helps
The MKCPP is a patient-led partnership among cancer patients and carers, health professionals, and NHS admin staff – with the addition of input from other related groups in the community. Its objective is to ensure that all local cancer voices…
- Patients and their carers
- Health professionals
- Key hospital admin staff
- The CCG, GP practices and PPGs
- Providers of ancillary services
- Voluntary groups
…are “on the same page,” so are able to react quickly, collectively and often pro-actively to patient feedback and to solve problems promptly.
At our bi-monthly meetings we bring our core membership together with our key partners, representatives of the other groups, and any invited observers. In the 90 minute sessions we exchange news and updates of what is going on in the MK area that affect the cancer patient and carer experience, discuss the next steps and where appropriate, delegate action to a smaller Working Group.