Commissioning groups’ performance on cancer care in England

Edwards, N. (2016) BMJ355:i5554

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It doesn’t look good, but CCGs are only one part of the pathway

NHS England, the body responsible for overseeing local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), recently published information on how these groups are performing on cancer care. The results were not good. Almost nine out of 10 CCGs were failing (180/209) with only 14% (29) doing well or better.

But beyond the headline figures, these results tell us more about the mess that remains following the 2012 Health and Social Care Act and about how policy makers are running out of ideas on how to make change happen.

The measures cover four indicators. On average CCGs had 50% of cancers diagnosed at stage 1 or 2—showing improvement, but some way from the 2020 target of 62% specified by the independent cancer task force that informed NHS England’s strategy. Only three CCGs came close, with the worst performing CCGs managing just over 30%.

Average one year survival for all cancers is just under 70%, but with a spread of 10 percentage points between the best and worst performing CCGs (64% to 74%). The survival target for 2020 is 75%. Patient experience was high compared with hospital services more generally, at 88%, but varies widely (67% to 96%).

Read the full editorial here

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