The IHDP approach

What changed

More effective intelligence

The approach to cancer intelligence is more user-led, collaborative and effective.

  • Tools and services are more user-focused
  • Increased collaboration across sectors
  • More effective use of resources
  • Local and national work is aligned and shared
  • National structures, connections and networks are used as mechanisms for collaboration across sectors to pursue improvements in health outcomes

Take innovative approaches

Innovation is not necessarily inventing something new or finding a technical solution, it can simply mean different ways of doing things or repurposing existing tools for a different environment. An exploratory mindset is important.
For example:
  • Improving the timeliness of cancer audit data
    Scottish Cancer Registry staff now have ‘read only’ access to Quality Performance Indicator (QPI) data to enable audit records to be more complete and timely. This simple process solution avoided the need for technical changes, or the need to link large datasets in order to access the small amounts of data required to complete the audit records.
  • Implementing Treatment Summaries across Scotland
    We used the context of the Digital Health and Care Strategy to find a mechanism for delivering on the evidence base for developing treatment summaries for patients and clinicians. (see Spotlight on Treatment Summaries).
  • Improved experiences and treatment for patients
    Despite successful technical implementations of patient reported outcomes and experience tools (PROMs and PREMs), service adoption of innovations in the NHS remain a key challenge. Innovation does not automatically lead to implementation – significant attention needs to be paid to change management to reap the benefits (see Cancer Innovation Challenge impact story).
  • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of multidisciplinary teams (MDTs)
    IHDP worked with the Scottish HepatoPancreatoBiliary (HPB) Network to develop clinical consensus for key data items required for referral to specialist treatment. While templates to capture the compulsory key data items were developed and agreed, they are not being used consistently across Scotland. This clearly demonstrates that work is still required to change practices on the ground.

Multidisciplinary Teams (MDT)

In the UK, cancer patient care is discussed in multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings, which include representatives from each of the disciplines involved in the diagnosis and management of the patient in question.

  • Partnering with NHS and academia to innovate in data science
    IHDP, NHS Lothian and St Andrew’s University sponsored an innovative data science studentship. The flexible programme allowed a range of research projects to be developed in response to ‘live’ opportunities and needs, providing ‘real world’ learning and benefit.

Spotlight on Treatment Summaries

Treatment Summaries are documents completed in secondary cares that provide a record of the treatment received, potential side effects, consequences of treatment, and signs and symptoms of recurrence, for GPs and patients/carers.

IHDP brought together key stakeholders to agree what information should be included in cancer Treatment Summaries across Scotland. Our 2017 report lays out the evidence for the benefits of using Treatment Summaries in cancer care, as well as recommendations for their systematic implementation.

With clinical and Scottish Government agreement in place for Treatment Summaries, NHS Education for Scotland Digital Service (NDS) were asked to start designing a technical solution for their implementation

Treatment Summaries will empower patients to feel more confident in their ability to manage their own health. Importantly, they will streamline communication between hospital and primary care, leading to better care following treatment.

This development work, focusing on two Health Boards and tumour types (head and neck in NHS Lothian and prostate in Greater Glasgow and Clyde), provides the foundations for offering Treatment Summaries across Scotland. A national approach to delivery will ensure consistency for patients and those involved in their care.

Key steps

Ensure the relevance and usability of solutions are clear to stakeholders, using appropriate mechanisms for different audiences.

Capture and act on knowledge gaps identified along the way.

Impact Stories

The ways in which IHDP’s approach and activities contributed to improved outcomes and impact are shown through impact stories.

Cancer Innovation Challenge