The Streamlining Multidisciplinary Team Programme
The Streamlining Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) programme is being undertaken, following the guidance issued by NHS England after the publication of two pivotal reports:
- Streamlining Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings - Guidance for Cancer Alliances. NHSE, January 2020
- 'Meeting Patients Needs, Improving the Effectiveness of MDTs in Cancer Services', Cancer Research UK, January 2017
- 'Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015-2020, The Independent Cancer Taskforce, May 2016.
All patients with cancer must have their care reviewed by the MDT; this is considered gold standard and a central part of the cancer pathway.
Much has changed in the cancer landscape since their introduction in 2000.
Cases are far more complex and there are significantly more treatment options available.
Due to the volume of cases requiring review at the MDT meeting, there is limited time to discuss more complex cases indepth. The number of patients has increased substantially, meaning that MDT meetings are lasting for several hours.
The introduction of Standards of Care (SoC) will ensure straightforward cases are progressed more quickly, which will give greater time to discuss complex cases.
A SoC is a point in the pathway, where there is a recognised intervention required that should be made available to the patient.
The MDT will maintain oversight of all patient cases, but where a patient's needs are met by a SoC, the case would be listed but not discussed at the full MDT meeting. A pre-MDT triage system will ensure patients on a SoC are progressing along the pathway as planned.
The benefits of implementing SoC will improve clinical management for all patients by improving consistency, transparency of pathways, create adequate time for discussing complex cases and ensure the best use of clinical and diagnostic time.
To compliment SoC, the referral process to MDT will be standardised, the current proforma reviewed and an agreed data set completed in order to present at MDT. There may be exceptional cases which need to be presented without the full data available.
The programme lead for Streamlining Multidisciplinary Teams is Faye Bennett.