The Faster Cancer Treatment (FCT) programme aims to improve the quality and timeliness of services for patients along the cancer pathway. The programme also links with other programmes of work that will improve cancer diagnostic and treatment services.
Key initiatives under FCT include:
- the ongoing development of, and service review against, national tumour standards for ten main tumour types describing the level of service that a person with cancer should have access to, promoting nationally coordinated and consistent levels of service provision across the country
- a service improvement fund, with funding of $11.2 million over four years made available to support DHBs to deliver faster cancer treatment. For example, a single point of access lung cancer clinic is being established in the Northern region that means that people can have a first specialist assessment and access to diagnostic tests on the same day
- improving the coverage and functionality of multidisciplinary meetings so that there is better continuity of care, more patients benefit from a range of expert opinion and there is less duplication of services
- implementing the Cancer Nurse Coordinator Initiative so that patients who need more personalised support have access to a specialist nurse.
In the South Island a variety of projects are being undertaken under the FCT banner, funded through the Ministry of Health. You can read more about these here.
More information on FCT can be found on the Ministry of Health website and information on the High Suspicion of Cancer definitions can be found here.
In the South Island the SCN is working with the DHBs to support them in their achievement of the timeliness indicators (patients with a confirmed cancer diagnosis receive their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 31 days of a decision to treat; patients referred urgently with a high suspicion of cancer receive their first treatment (or other management) within 62 days of the referral being received by the hospital).
Work is also underway to support the DHBs in improving the functionality and coverage of their multi-disciplinary meetings (MDMs).