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Editorial

We all need to work together

Tackling inequalities in health outcomes demands a collaborative approach. This is particularly important in oncology where early diagnosis can reduce mortality and risk of recurrence, yet increasingly people are presenting late with advanced disease, which is too often diagnosed in emergency departments rather than through GP referrals.

Tackling inequalities in health outcomes demands a collaborative approach. This is particularly important in oncology where early diagnosis can reduce mortality and risk of recurrence, yet increasingly people are presenting late with advanced disease, which is too often diagnosed in emergency departments rather than through GP referrals.

While this situation may partly be due to lack of symptom recognition by patients or GPs, it may also be due to fear, being too busy caring for other people or not wishing to be a burden on others. Regardless, it goes some way to explaining why survival rates are worse in the UK than other European countries.

The vision includes the potential for nurses to work across primary, secondary and tertiary settings

The acute care collaboration vanguards announced by NHS England aim to improve

Tackling inequalities in health outcomes demands a collaborative approach. This is particularly important in oncology where early diagnosis can reduce mortality and risk of recurrence, yet increasingly people are presenting late with advanced disease, which is too often diagnosed in emergency departments rather than through GP referrals.

While this situation may partly be due to lack of symptom recognition by patients or GPs, it may also be due to fear, being too busy caring for other people or not wishing to be a burden on others. Regardless, it goes some way to explaining why survival rates are worse in the UK than other European countries.

The vision includes the potential for nurses to work across primary, secondary and tertiary settings

The acute care collaboration vanguards announced by NHS England aim to improve the quality of hospital services and management across England. In cancer, the accountable clinical network of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust will work to improve early detection and care quality, including new models of care. The vision includes breaking down barriers and working across organisations, with the potential for some nurses to work across primary, secondary and tertiary settings.

This is fantastic news for idealists; less so for realists who may be concerned about potential dilution of services. Nevertheless, the network has the potential to make considerable improvements for patients and their families, and to enhance service delivery. As a researcher I hope that sufficient funding is dedicated to conduct large studies evaluating patients’ experiences of the new models.

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