Health and Social Care Professionals Programme

The big idea

We are developing a Best Practice Pathway designed to guide and support healthcare professionals towards delivering step-change pre-referral approaches and diagnosis, treatment options based on patient-centred care and recently published clinical research, and effective post-treatment support.

The best practice pathway takes into consideration current national cancer waiting times, recently published national cancer strategies and existing clinical guidance. It is underpinned by clinical evidence from published medical research trials, patient experience data, best practice case studies and the experiences of men.

The pathway is not intended to be a set of clinical guidelines but a statement of what Prostate Cancer UK and its clinical advisors consider to be best practice. Our aim is to make this an enabler to improve the standard and consistency of care.

Why we’re doing it

We know from men's experiences, national audits and patient experience surveys that there is massive variation in diagnosis, access to treatment and support throughout the prostate cancer journey.

We will divide our focus across the diagnostic, treatment and support pathways so that each of these can be made specific to the different journeys each man could take to achieve the best outcomes whether at risk of the disease or having been diagnosed with it.

By targeting key points in the pathway where we know - from healthcare professionals, from men and from relevant data sources - that there is greatest variation we will draw in examples of clinical expertise to highlight good practice so that these can be adopted and tailored to different clinical settings, resources and practice styles. We will also promote the use of newly emerging scientific advances, like mpMRI before biopsy, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and earlier docetaxel and where necessary, we’ll discuss what is required to make sure these deliver clinical benefit.

We believe its use will help us to work together to eradicate variation in access to services and outcomes that men currently experience across the UK.

Making it happen

We’ve been working with various teams of healthcare professionals from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that the pathway translates into practice across all four nations and is realistic in terms of what it is setting out to achieve.

A virtual team of over 50 multidisciplinary clinicians from across the whole of the UK have been brought together to form consensus over draft pathways, evidence and research to determine the inclusion within the best practice pathway.

We’ve established a Clinical Reference Group formed of representatives from clinical bodies including BAUS, BAUN and various Royal College’s, as well as national organisations including NHS England, the Department of Health, Health Improvement Scotland and NICE to provide strategic clinical and operational specialist advice.

Get involved or find out more

The best practice pathway will be launched in early 2017. As we approach our final stages of development we are keen to hear from healthcare professionals to understand which format will be most useful in practice. Please complete our survey to let us know your views, and we'll use that knowledge to help us develop a tool that will effectively support your work in supporting men at risk or diagnosed and living with prostate cancer.

To get involved in the project, or to find out more please contact Sarah Brooks, Best Practice Pathway Development Manager via sarah.brooks@prostatecanceruk.org