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NHS England will continue to assess quality of cancer services

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 26 March 2015

Last year, alongside a number of other cancer charities, we campaigned to save the National Cancer Peer Review Programme. It had been under threat of closure due to financial constraints in NHS England. The Programme is important as it carries out external checks on cancer services, treatment and care in England, and has helped to drive up standards and improve outcomes. It is also is one of the few programmes that involves actual patients in reviewing services to ensure that they are up to scratch.

We are delighted to have received notification that future funding for the Programme has now been agreed and the scheme will continue. Please see the letter below. It will be re-branded as the Quality Surveillance Team (QST) and, whilst its exact new remit has yet to be determined, it is good news that this type of external monitoring of cancer services will be maintained.

We will continue to ensure we feed into the development of the newly branded QST over the coming weeks and months, and provide updates when we have them. We hope that the QST will deliver genuine improvements for pancreatic cancer patients in the future.

“Dear Ms Alex Ford,

RE: The future of the National Cancer Peer Review Programme

I am writing to thank you for your letter to Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, which highlighted your support for the continuation of the National Cancer Peer Review Programme.

NHS England have now agreed that the programme should continue and as a result, sufficient funding has been allocated to enable this. We will continue to assess the quality of cancer services across the country and evaluate national data outcomes data on clinical cancer services.

The programme will be revising its methodology to include greater use of clinical outcomes data and to reflect this change; it is being rebadged as the Quality Surveillance Team.

The importance of peer review continuing in cancer services was emphasised by your letter and I believe that without the backing of the 16 charities, we may not have been as successful in securing funding. I would like you to know that your support is greatly appreciated.

I will endeavour to keep you updated with the revisions to the programme and the details of the forward programme.

Thank you for your help and support once again.

 Yours sincerely,

Ruth Bridgeman

National Director, National Peer Review Programme”