Organisational characteristics, teamwork & service delivery in lung cancer diagnostic assessment programmes

Honein-AbouHaidar, G.N. et al. (2017) BMJ Open. 7:e013965.

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Objectives: Diagnostic assessment programmes (DAPs) can reduce wait times for cancer diagnosis, but optimal DAP design is unknown. This study explored how organisational characteristics influenced multidisciplinary teamwork and diagnostic service delivery in lung cancer DAPs.

Conclusions: This study identified several DAP characteristics that could be improved to facilitate teamwork and enhance service delivery, thereby contributing to knowledge of organisational determinants of teamwork and associated outcomes. Findings can be used to update existing DAP guidelines, and by managers to plan or evaluate lung cancer DAPs. Ongoing research is needed to identify ideal roles for navigators, and staffing models tailored to case volumes.

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Pathology services capacity

Cancer Research UK has published Testing times to come? An evaluation of pathology capacity across the UK.

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This report highlights lack of capacity for pathology services as a result of the increasing number of patient samples that need to be tested.  The report recommends that action is taken now to address current and future workforce shortfalls.  It also recommends the Royal College of Pathologists should update their guidance and look at ways to attract staff to train in pathology.

Download the executive summary for England

Additional links:  Cancer Research UK press release  | BBC News report

The secret life of an oncologist: witnessing the most painful and intimate moments of life

It’s not all doom and gloom. The best part of the job is when cancer treatment works and patients return to good health. Occasionally there are miracles | The Guardian: Cancer

People assume that oncology is all doom, gloom and death. To be honest it can be, but thankfully not all of the time, or else nobody could cope with doing it.

Cancer can be a disease of dreadful retrospectives – that lump that was looked at but not biopsied; that mole that was judged to be OK. These patients and their families are justifiably angry. Others have refused to see what was plainly staring them in the face.

For most of our patients the actual diagnosis of cancer has been given to them in another ward, and when they come to us they are pleased there are still options that can prolong their lives even if we cannot cure their illness. Surgery is usually restricted to relieving obstructions or draining fluids that cause discomfort. What is most commonly used is chemotherapy in different forms, and radiation. The treatment that is chosen is the result of many tests and a lot of accumulated experience. Oncology is very much a team effort, with everybody working together.

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Breast screening: national radiographic workforce report 2016

Public Health England | First published: 7 November 2016

This report complements the previous radiology workforce census and should inform future workforce training and planning in the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

All 4 tiers of the radiographic workforce in the programme were surveyed. The report analyses staffing, vacancy rates, retirements, training routes and attitudes of radiographic staff to workforce issues.

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Image source: gov.uk

Read the full report here