A new report by PIF member Macmillan Cancer Support examines how far the UK’s health and care services need to go on integration for high-quality, personalised cancer care to be a reality for everyone.

Caught in the Maze highlights how people are falling through the cracks between primary and secondary care. Key issues include:

  • Information not being tailored to meet individual's needs.
  • Support for wider needs, including mental health, often being patchy and delayed.
  • The system being too geared towards rapid diagnosis and treatment with personalised care too often becoming an 'add on'.

Macmillan's analysis suggests there are four key dimensions to personalised, integrated cancer care that need to be addressed:

  • Everyone with cancer can access personalised, joined-up care.
  • People with cancer are supported by health and care professionals consistently working together.
  • People with cancer receive personalised, integrated care across services provided by different parts of the system.
  • Services are designed, commissioned and funded around the goal of personalised, integrated cancer care.

To address these issues, Macmillan wants governments across the UK and local systems to:

  • Review the funding, commissioning and targets for cancer care so health and care services deliver better joined-up care for people with cancer.
  • Make personalised care, including navigation support, available for everyone with cancer, throughout their cancer journey.
  • Publish a fully-funded workforce strategy to address gaps in the cancer and wider health and care workforce.
  • Increase skill mix, encourage collaboration between professionals, as well as learning from other conditions.
  • Ensure cancer services at all levels incorporate the experiences of people living with cancer.

Read the report in full here.