Quality Cancer Care is at the heart of the European Cancer Organisation’s guiding mission: “To reduce the burden of cancer, improve outcomes and the quality of care for cancer patients, through multidisciplinarity and multiprofessionalism”.
Panel discussion at the European Cancer Summit 2020 session “How to implement Quality Cancer Care in Europe: From good intentions to patient benefit”.
For this purpose, in 2017 the European Cancer Organisation launched its programme of publications: The Essential Requirements of Quality Cancer Care.
The Essential Requirements of Quality Cancer Care (ERQCC) papers are organisational specifications, not clinical guidelines, and are intended to give oncology teams, patients, policymakers and managers an overview of the elements needed in any healthcare system to provide high-quality care throughout the patient journey. References are made to clinical guidelines and other resources where appropriate, and the focus is on care in Europe.
Written by European experts representing all disciplines involved in cancer care, including our Member Societies, the ERQCC papers provide roadmaps to high-quality multidisciplinary cancer care for a specific tumour type.
The full list of Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care published so far is provided below.
Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care for Pancreatic Cancer, Adult Glioma, and Ovarian Cancer, are currently in stages of finalisation.
In 2020, we published, as open access papers in prestigious Journals:
Cancer care in Europe is supported by a range of scientific, healthcare professional, patient and institutional organisations and collaborations that provide a range of essential tools for raising standards and outcomes in the delivery of care.
The Quality Cancer Care Network of the European Cancer Organisation is now collating and profiling many excellent examples in a central repository: The European Quality Cancer Care Catalogue.
On 23 September 2020, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides officially launched the European Code of Cancer Practice. Recording from the virtual launch event and video statements can be found here.
The European Code of Cancer Practice is a citizen and patient-centred manifesto of the core requirements for good clinical cancer practice, in order to improve outcomes for all of Europe's cancer patients. It sets out a series of ten key overarching rights, and in particular signposts what patients should expect from their health system, in order for them to achieve the best possible outcomes.
It is an empowerment tool to ensure the best available care is delivered for European citizens and patients, translated into many languages.
Many organisations have already endorsed the European Code of Cancer Practice.
More information about the European Code of Cancer Practice is available here.
The European Code of Cancer Practice is also underpinned by a supporting paper on the Medical Literature and Evidenceupon which the recommendations are based.
In order to drive improvement in the quality of cancer care across Europe we need information on how we are doing presently, where improvement need is greatest, and drive targeted efforts from this. At the European level, in support of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the Quality of Cancer Care Network has promoted the concept of a European Cancer Dashboard. This could help to monitor patient access to vital elements of quality cancer care, such as key professions and treatment modalities.
Quality Cancer Care related goals for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan have also been promoted, such as achieving the goal of patient access to at least one comprehensive cancer centre in each European Member State, and one for every 5 million inhabitants in countries with a larger population.
Both of these propositions are described further within the Quality Cancer Care section of the landmark report for the European Parliament, ‘Strengthening Europe in the Fight Against Cancer’. More information here.
Thierry Philip, EU Cancer Mission Assembly Member and President of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes speaking at the European Cancer Summit 2020 session on Quality Cancer Care.
The European Cancer Summit 2020 placed an emphasis on implementation recommendations during its Quality Cancer Care session. Major elements of focus included:
Speakers from the OECD, healthcare professional and patient communities, and research sectors, exchanged examples, case studies, thoughts and suggestions. The role that EU initiatives like the Cancer Mission and Beating Cancer Plan could play in improving the infrastructure through which cancer treatment is provided was highlighted. The need to achieve greater international standardisation in approach to oncology data collection and analysis was emphasised. The role that organisations for inter-governmental collaboration such as the OECD can play in this respect was profiled.
In order to convene leading experts in the field, provide connection to the European political environment and provide opportunities for exchange and dialogue on quality cancer care matters, the European Cancer Organisations organised a number of virtual meetings in 2020
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