The way in which medical staff provide care for cancer patients was explained to me over the weekend, and it has some really powerful features:
- Cancer is dealt with by multi-disciplinary teams. This is borne out the recognition that a surgeon’s clinical knowledge may not always be enough on its own to provide the best overall solution for the patient. In this way, professionals guard against one perspective being allowed to dominate to the detriment others aspects of patient-care.
- These teams are generally characterised by a strong degree of openness. Consultants, surgeons and nurses are all expected to bring – and share – their professional knowledge to discussions to find the best solution.
- Innovation is not an add-on, but is embedded in the process of care. Every patient is offered the chance to be a part of the research process (new drugs/clinical research), as long as is it will not adversely affect their condition.
- Where possible cancer care often involves strong dialogue not just with the patient, but also with the patient’s family. In this way, the methods of treatment are grounded in both the patient’s clinical needs and their individual circumstances.
Goodbye Toyota, hello NHS for innovation in services?