Breast cancer clinical forum highlights risk stratified pathways

Risk stratified pathways were a key focus of the second LCA breast cancer clinical forum held on 11 June 2013. Christine Losty, LCA project manager for the risk stratified pathway, gave a brief overview of risk stratified pathways, and three LCA provider trusts highlighted their experiences in implementing risk stratified pathways or open access follow up.

With more people surviving longer after cancer treatment, traditional models of follow up, such as diagnostic tests with a further hospital appointment to receive results, will no longer be sustainable. The LCA is assisting its provider trusts with the implementation of new models of follow up for breast, colorectal and prostate patients. 

Risk stratified pathways are based on the treatment and personal circumstances of the individual and allow clinicians to determine which patients are suitable for self-management. This means that at the end of their treatment, patients only need to return to the trust if regular diagnostic test results are outside the perimeters set for individuals. Patients can contact the trust via a dedicated helpline if they have any queries or worrying symptoms and, if necessary, will be given a clinic appointment within 14 days.

This prompted interesting debate among the delegates, particularly around the affordability of introducing this new follow-up model and the IT issues and staff capacity requirements involved.

Around 70 attendees also heard presentations on breast metrics; data from the audit of access to metastatic services; access to physiotherapy following breast surgery; the future audit programme and peer review. The presentations are available here.

The next LCA breast cancer clinical forum is planned for 12 September 2013 and will focus on genetics and family history.

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