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Novartis launches two Joint Working Projects with NHS Cancer Vanguard sites, using data analysis to improve care pathways for cancer patients

Novartis announced today the launch of two new Joint Working Projects with national Cancer Vanguard sites, which aim to identify ways to improve cancer patient care pathways and access to services. The projects will be based at The Christie in Greater Manchester and within the UCLH Cancer Collaborative region (north and east London), covering a catchment population of 6.9 million people. The two projects are part of Novartis’ ongoing commitment to combine resources, time, and expertise with the NHS, with the aim to significantly improve cancer patient outcomes.

With one in two people born after 1960 expected to develop cancer at some point in their lifetime1, optimising working practices and addressing variations in care is essential to ensure the best outcomes for cancer patients. Central to both Joint Working Projects is the use of data analytics to generate insights, which will be used to improve cancer patients’ experiences, one of the six key priorities of the NHS cancer strategy2.

The Joint Working Project with UCLH Cancer Collaborative will adopt the use of Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) level balanced scorecards to capture service outcomes data for breast, lung, lymphoma, melanoma, and prostate cancer patient pathways. This service level data will include information on cancer patients’ waiting times versus targets, the number of patients diagnosed with cancer, and the proportion of patients being prescribed chemotherapy and receiving it at home. Patient or clinical information will not be disclosed as part of the project.

Decisions on clinical practice are informed by data, however, information from these pathways is not currently captured under one source, and varies across different types of cancer and hospitals. The NHS and Novartis are jointly funding two project analysts to manage the project and to compare data from the MDT scorecards to service standards in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) treatment guidelines. Insights will be used by staff to improve MDTs’ effectiveness and enhance patient care pathways, to develop care levels that are tailored to individual patient needs and provide a better quality of service for patients.