Improving the quality of NHS cancer services: command and control or let the market decide
Using case studies from prostate, breast and colorectal cancer, this seminar will explore how the current policy dynamic has influenced the design of cancer services and practices of care, and what options including empirical models are available for informing the policy environment.
The delivery of cancer care services is occurring in the context of quality improvement policies which seek on the one hand to create a responsive equitable service by encouraging patient choice of provider, whilst on the other hand attempting a “top-down” centralisation of services. These patient choice and centralisation policies will have different and contradictory impacts on access to care, health resource utilisation and health outcomes. In addition, they require different service configurations and provider incentives to operate effectively. However, there is little evidence to guide policymaking with regard to the optimum delivery of cancer services. Using case studies from prostate, breast and colorectal cancer the seminar will explore how the current policy dynamic has influenced the design of cancer services and practices of care, and what options including empirical models are available for informing the policy environment.
Dr Ajay Aggarwal, MRCP FRCR PhD, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust & LSHTM
Dr Ajay Aggarwal is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust, London and Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). His main research areas are health system design, performance assessment of cancer care and Global Health. He was awarded an Advanced Fellowship by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in 2020 and is the current editor of the Journal of Cancer Policy. In his role as the Oncology Coordinator for the UK National Prostate Cancer Audit, he co-led the development and delivery of the first ever national hospital outcome reporting programme for radiotherapy. His research has contributed significantly to national and international policy discussion around the affordability of cancer care and the value of new technologies in cancer medicine which has directly influenced the WHO Cancer Drug Pricing and Benefits Taskforces. He is the Chief Investigator of the NIH funded ARCHERY study, the first prospective international multicentre trial across India, Jordan, Malaysia and South Africa evaluating the role of AI in radiotherapy.
Professor David Cromwell, Professor of Health Services Research, HSRP