Cancer World Newsletter - Centralising cancer services: is this the best way to improve results? Print

Concentrating care of cancer patients in a few specialist centres ensures all patients are treated
by teams who specialise in treating certain cancers, and facilitates quality control. But it also
means many patients have to travel much further, which can be stressful if you are frail and unwell,
not to mention expensive. Are there better ways to improve outcomes? In this Crosstalk article
Renee Otter, former director of the Northern Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Groningen, The
Netherlands, argues that there are, while Susan O’Reilly, director of the Irish National Cancer
Control Programme disagrees.

What do you think?

  • Is it feasible to enforce and monitor adherence to national evidence-based guidelines, and
    sustain multidisciplinary teams of trained specialists who see adequate numbers of patients
    to keep their skills up, without concentrating cancer care in a few specialist centres?
  • Do proponents of centralisation underestimate the impact on patients’ quality of life caused
    by the effort and stress of difficult journeys to treatment centres, and how that balances
    against what the patients stand to gain?
  •  You can read the article here. Press the comment button at the end and share your views.