Doctor with phone

Innovative oncology software set for national roll out

A new innovative oncology software has been successfully piloted at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is now set to be rolled out to 47 specialist cancer centres across England.

The initiative supports The National Cancer Programme of Care NHS England and Improvement Specialised Commissioning, who have invested £1.4m on a three-year programme of evaluation, supported by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, to determine the quality benefits that innovation can bring to the treatment of cancer patients, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.

The software in question, which is available via NHS Supply Chain's Large Diagnostic Capital Equipment including Mobile and Services radiotherapy framework, was selected because of its capability to improve treatment plan quality and outcomes. It follows an extensive phase of provider testing that enabled more than 20 radiotherapy centres in England to access, test and assess the system using anonymised data.

Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has played an important role in trialling the software, which enables trusts to evaluate details with peers securely, sharing pathology reports, live videos and insights.

The software can also be used to support local audit and improvement in treatment plan quality, and through the use, anonymised dosimetry data will form the basis of national comparative quality audits, in line with the clinical priorities.

Chris Walker Head of Radiotherapy Physics Northern Cancer Care, Newcastle said: “The NHS constantly measures the quality of its services to ensure that patients get the best care. This software will massively reduce the amount of time it takes to do that, meaning clinicians can spend more time with patients at a time when they need it most.”

The software will allow oncologists to use the expertise outside of their own hospital and ultimately expedite the process of treating patients, which could combat some of the backlog the NHS is currently facing.

Antonia Marks, Tower Director for NHS Supply Chain: Large Diagnostic Capital Equipment including Mobile and Services said: “We are pleased to have this innovative software solution available on our framework. By centralising data through software, NHS trusts can share best practice with other cancer centres in the UK, providing improved patient care."

NHS Supply Chain, which manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products, services and food for NHS trusts and healthcare organisations across England and Wales, was said to be pivotal in the procurement of the software.

This is their latest effort in their aim to:

  • Anchor the business on the needs of the NHS by supporting NHS trusts to deliver safe and excellent patient care and through continuing to build the services the NHS needs.
  • Further strengthen the resilience of the supply chain by continuing to invest in key tools and capacity that build resilience and performance, across the end to end supply chain.
  • Deliver clinically assured, safe products that support improved outcomes for patients and users.
  • Support the NHS objective of becoming the world’s first net carbon zero national health system.
  • Ensure a high performing workforce and highly efficient organisation.

More information on the new software can be found here.

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