The NHS has formally launched a Cancer Commissioning Toolkit to help local NHS managers to develop better cancer-fighting strategies based on national standards and data.

Until recently, data on the effective use of cancer drugs, treatments and waiting times has been held in 15 competing databases and often in paper format.

The toolkit is a web portal built by business consulting and technology services company Concentra. Its development was led by the National Cancer Action Team and it brings all the information together in a single, accessible online library.

It aims to help cancer networks and trusts better commission cancer services in line with the government’s vision for world class commissioning.

National cancer director Professor Mike Richards said: “The Cancer Reform Strategy identified better information and stronger commissioning as two of the key drivers to achieve our goal that cancer services in this country should be among the best in the world.

“The Toolkit represents a major step forward in relation to both of these drivers for quality improvement.”

Concentra won the contract for the toolkit in February 2008, but implementation was delayed until December because of strict governance rules about who could have access.

The tool is displayed as a dashboard and structures information as a cancer patient’s journey, for example detailing mortality rates, assessment, diagnosis, treatment.

Richard Hancox, associate director of commissioning at the National Cancer Action Team, said: “I am convinced a lot of positive results will flow from the CCT and also foresee that its success can be built upon in other disease areas.”

There are 1,238 registered users of the Cancer Commissioning Toolkit across the country but more are expected to follow.

Rupert Morrison, Managing Director of Concentra told E-Health Insider: “People have waited for years for a tool that brings everything to one place in a digestible way.

“We are committed to both helping the NHS manage its long-term goals and work with the NHS cancer bodies to extend and enhance the system.”

Link: Concentra