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West of Scotland managed clinical network for head and neck cancer

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Abstract:

Background: 

The Head and Neck Managed Clinical Network (MCN) was established in April 2002 with the aim of ensuring that no matter where a patient receives treatment, their treatment pathway will be the same. An advisory board was set up with representation from the five West of Scotland health board areas (Ayrshire and Arran, Argyll and Clyde, Greater Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Forth Valley). Method: 

The Advisory Board consists of representatives from the multidisciplinary team including ear, nose and throat, maxillofacial and plastic surgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists, clinical nurse specialists, dietitians, speech and language therapists, palliative care consultant and a patient representative. The dietetic representative on the Advisory Board acts as a link to the 12 members of the Dietetic Subgroup. These dietitians are from across the West of Scotland health boards and local multidisciplinary teams and include both the primary and acute sector. A network manager was appointed in April 2003 and works within a team for the West of Scotland Cancer MCN's, which provide administration, audit, information, statistical and information technology, support to the network. Audit: 

The network is committed in improving the quality of care and outcomes for patients with head and neck cancers. Agreement of the head and neck minimum dataset across Scotland has still to be achieved. Teleconferencing and clinical meetings: 

The network has utilized telemedicine conferences to audit new complicated cases throughout the West of Scotland. Monthly meetings link surgeons, oncologists, radiotherapists, pathologist, dietitians, speech and language therapists and clinical nurse specialists in Glasgow, Ayrshire, Forth Valley, Argyll and Clyde and Lanarkshire to provide discussion and agreement in best patient care. Publications: 

Patient information booklets are being developed to cover all areas of head and neck cancer. Dietitians have been involved in writing the dietetic component of the booklets and also in proof reading the booklets as a whole. Dietitians within this group have been working with the Scottish Nutrition and Diet Resources Initiative to develop a cancer diet information pack entitled ‘A Helping Hand’, which was published in February 2004. Patient pathways: 

The MCN has been monitoring patient pathways, which are often complex in head and neck cancer patients. Conclusion: 

Over time with the network, we envisage a powerful multidisciplinary group, which focuses on strategic planning of patient care, to assist delivery of service improvement and clinical benefit. To help achieve this goal, dietitians are sharing information on best practice and producing guidelines.

Document Type: Abstract

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-277X.2004.00568_2.x

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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