The Map of Medicine is partnering with all cancer networks across England to localise the cancer care pathways already provided by ‘the Map’.
The Department of Health say the partnership is key to enabling the networks to achieve targets set out in the ‘Cancer Reform Strategy’, including improving early detection of cancers, reducing referral times and extending screening programmes.
Professor Mike Richards, national cancer director, said: “One of our key areas for action, highlighted in the ‘Cancer Reform Strategy,’ is to reduce cancer inequalities.
“This unique initiative between the Map of Medicine and the cancer networks will help us in achieving this aim.”
A recent DH survey found that women are not always being appropriately referred for breast cancer and that, in some cases, GPs are unsure when to refer breast cancer patients as urgent cases. Inappropriate referrals can have a direct impact on the quality of care received by some cancer patients across the country.
By localising the evidence based cancer pathways, which are already available on the Map of Medicine, the cancer networks will help improve the standardisation of cancer services. The integration with Map of Medicine should help ensure all healthcare professionals working in the NHS in England can access the latest evidence and guidance on cancer care and management, the company says.
There are already 120 Map of Medicine care pathways or ‘Healthguides’ accessible directly to patients via the NHS Choices website.