Thursday, 13 March 2014

New report from Breast Cancer Campaign

Dear Mr Jones, I wanted to let you know about a new report published today by Breast Cancer Campaign, Finding the cures, improving the care. This report explores how more effective monitoring of performance against the NICE Breast cancer quality standard (BCQS) could be used to drive improvements in the standard of care for women with breast cancer.

I have also attached a personalised briefing, which includes selected local data from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (NCPES) to show how trusts in your constituency perform on key criteria in comparison with national averages, and a draft press release, that you could use to highlight the experience of women in your constituency.

About the report
Around 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and each of them deserves the best possible care. The NICE Breast cancer quality standard sets out markers of high quality, cost-effective patient care in the NHS in England, and it is an important tool that could be used more effectively to improve services. However, there are no formal mechanisms to measure and report on performance against the standard, nor to measure the impact the standard is having in driving improvements. The report makes 16 recommendations to address this problem. Critically, it calls on NHS England to commit to ensuring that a review of compliance with the Breast cancer quality standard is published annually.

How you can help
There are multiple recommendations listed in the report which relate to local commissioning activity, and we would be delighted to meet with you to discuss further how you could influence positive change both nationally and locally. Your local data briefing includes a set of key questions you could pose to national and local health bodies in order to encourage them to make more effective use of the BCQS to drive improvements in the standard of services they provide.

Women living with breast cancer face many challenges, but poor quality care should not be one of them. We hope you will join with us in taking action to ensure that all the mums, sisters and daughters living with breast cancer receive the high standard of care that they deserve.

It would be great to know whether the report and briefing are useful and if you have any responses as a result of taking any of the possible actions in the briefing. We would also be delighted to meet with you to discuss the report in more detail so please let me know if that would be of interest.

Best wishes,Josephine Brady
Public Affairs and Policy Officer