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Evidence-based patient pathways for mCRC

Saving Lives: the metastatic colorectal cancer best practice pathway

Published: 13 Sep 2012

Client: Beating Bowel Cancer

Agency: Tonic Life Communications

Campaign: Treating Liver Metastases: Saving Lives

Timescale: January – May 2011

A quick look

People in the UK are dying prematurely from metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in what appears to be a “postcode lottery” for accessing treatment and specialist support. To address this variation in care, Beating Bowel Cancer, in partnership with Tonic Life Communications, developed Treating Liver Metastases: Saving Lives, a mCRC best practice pathway. A key part of the pathway development involved collaborating with a multi-disciplinary group of 16 healthcare professionals to review the draft pathway and identify potential bridges and barriers to its implementation. In May 2011, the final pathway was launch during a key session at the ASGBI Congress.

Challenge

People in the UK are dying prematurely from metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in what appears to be a “postcode lottery” for accessing treatment and specialist support.

A variety of independent pathways for mCRC patients with liver metastases exist across the UK and are used at the discretion of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). This has led to a wide variation in the treatment that people with mCRC experience. Beating Bowel Cancer wanted to address this variation in treatment to ensure a better standard of care for patients and ultimately save more lives from mCRC.

Solution

In partnership with Beating Bowel Cancer, Tonic Life Communications collaborated with healthcare professionals to develop, disseminate and drive adoption of a new evidence-based patient pathway for mCRC.

The first step focused on drafting a preliminary pathway based on individual PCT pathways, discussions with healthcare professionals and existing NICE guidance.

Next, a core multi-disciplinary stakeholder group was formed to review the draft pathway and identify potential bridges and barriers to its implementation.

The multi-disciplinary group reflected the multifaceted nature of the disease and the numerous healthcare professionals involved at each stage of the patient journey. UK regional representation was sought and individuals with dual roles were identified to aid future dissemination and adoption of the pathway.

To demonstrate a truly collaborative approach, allied healthcare professionals, professional UK bodies and interested charities also had the opportunity to comment on the pathway.

The final pathway was launched at ASGBI Congress in May 2011 via a member of the core stakeholder group.  Networking by Beating Bowel Cancer with charity groups, high profile specialist clinicians across the UK and professional groups drove awareness, and an electronic version of the pathway was made available on the Beating Bowel Cancer website.

Results

  • Sixteen core stakeholders representing eight UK regions and seven disciplines provided input into the pathway
  • Eighty healthcare professionals, professional bodies and charities were invited to comment on the pathway
  • The pathway was launched during a key session at the ASGBI Congress; the congress attracts more than 1,800 delegates

Client verdict

“By working closely with leading colorectal, oncology and hepato-biliary healthcare professionals and ensuring representation from all the disciplines involved in the care and treatment of mCRC we were able to reach a group consensus on the best practice pathway for mCRC patients. I’m confident that the development of the pathway, and the resulting support for its adoption by the core stakeholder group and professional bodies, will lead to improvements in the standard of care for mCRC patients.”

Mark Flannagan, CEO, Beating Bowel Cancer

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