Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care: Primary Care

12 September 2019

The European Cancer Organisation together with its members, patient organisations and other partners have sought to define the essential requirements for primary care interventions throughout the cancer care pathway to build on the European Cancer Organisation's position statement on integrated cancer care and its Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care (ERQCC) programme.

 The project aims to:
  • Improve outcomes for cancer patients in Europe through the adoption and implementation of essential requirements in cancer care complementing clinical guidelines;
  • Shape the policy environment at European and national levels to improve the quality of cancer care across Europe and decrease inequalities in outcomes.
The project seeks answers to:
  • What type of primary care action/intervention should be available/delivered to cancer patients?
  • By whom/which primary care profession (roles and responsibilities)?
  • When/at what stage of the cancer care continuum primary care actions/interventions should be available/delivered (including during treatment)?
  • How the intervention should be delivered/be made available? What is needed from an organisational point of view to deliver these interventions?
  • The principle resolution passed last year; was as follows; “By 2025, all national cancer plans in Europe should contain ambitious and measurable goals and actions to improve the integration of primary care healthcare professionals and informal carers within multidisciplinary care to patients”.

As a part of the project the article was prepared by the following partners and published in the Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology:

The article is available here.


This joint paper concerns the integration of primary care into care for all cancers in Europe. There has always been a need to work as a primary health care team and including all primary health care professionals to define integration and essential requirements.

  • Primary care plays a major role in the diagnosis of cancer and care of patients
  • Primary and community care are often not well integrated into cancer care
  • There are many opportunities for extending care at the primary level
  • Healthcare systems must consider new roles for primary and community professionals
  • GPs are increasingly recognised as expert generalists, with key roles in coordinating care with the patient as the focus.