Mental health and psychological support

Key Personal

Introduction to the pathway group

The Mental Health and Psychological Support Pathway Group was established in April 2013 with the primary aim of improving patient outcome and experience across the LCA. 

It aims to provide the strategic direction for the development and implementation of cancer-specific mental health and psychological support services across the LCA. These models and services will be based on national models and strategy where possible; use published, high-quality evidence as a basis where not; and build on local service developments there these exist.

The Mental Health and Psychological Support Pathway Group is constituted by a wide range of healthcare professionals, with representation not only from the within the 16 LCA provider Trusts, but also from third sector providers, such as Pauls Cancer Centre. 

The pathway group structure means that a steering group drives the work of the pathway, and its members lead workstreams which are responsible for the bulk of the work and delivery of the pathway objectives. The forum, which has a broader membership, enables wider engagement and constructive challenge, and is essential to the subsequent clinical implementation of the pathway’s outputs.


  • To be recognised as the primary source of expert opinion in the LCA on mental health and psychological support of those affected by cancer. To establish a continuous dialogue with the LCA Clinical Board on these issues.
  • To lead and support the implementation of the relevant chapters of NICE Supportive and Palliative Care Improving Outcomes Guidance (2004).
  • To promote the development of collaborative working and communication between those responsible for leading mental health and psychological support across the LCA.
  • To develop agreed service metrics and advise corrective action where these are not achieved. 

Targets and outcomes

  • Developing and supporting the implementation of a comprehensive and seamless exemplar Mental Health & Psychology pathway across the LCA, based upon national and international standards, research and evidence.
  • Delivering  the recommendations in the Model of Care.
  • Improving cancer patient experience and outcomes through delivering excellence in clinical care, research, innovation and education.
  • Ensuring equitable access to appropriate level of psychological support using NICE 4-level model, enabling patient specific needs to be best met.
  • Developing an LCA-wide referral criteria with associated guidelines for access to timely assessment by psychological support teams.
  • Developing specialist, multi-disciplinary psychological support teams across the LCA.


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