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Prostate Cancer

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of multi-disciplinary teams for urological cancer. (184259)

Information about the effectiveness of individual urology multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) can be found within local cancer network peer review reports. These are in the public domain and can be accessed on the Cancer Quality Improvement Networks System website at:

www.cquins.nhs.uk/published_reviews.php

A national overview of the findings from the recent round of cancer peer review (2004-07) is due to be published shortly. This will include summary information about urology MDTs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the post-operative mortality rate for radical prostatectomy (a) in total and (b) broken down by strategic health authority area. (184261)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations his Department has received from (a) patients and (b) clinicians on treating prostate cancer on the NHS in the last six months; what the content of these representations was; and if he will make a statement. (184262)

The main forum through which patients and clinicians make representations to the Department of Health is the Prostate Cancer Advisory Group (PCAG). As part of our commitment to working in partnership, the Government welcomed the establishment of the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action in January 2003 and acted upon its call to establish the PCAG, chaired by Professor Mike Richards, the National Cancer Director. The overall remit of the PCAG is to facilitate collaboration between the Department, the voluntary sector and patient and professional groups to advise Ministers, the National Cancer Director and the Department on the development of policy on prostate cancer.

The PCAG last met on 26 June 2007, and treatment issues discussed were:

progress on the Cancer Reform Strategy (CRS);

the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline on “prostate cancer: diagnosis and treatment”;

the pilot multi-disciplinary team training programme;

brachytherapy;

implementation of the NICE improving outcomes guidance (IOG) on urological cancers and

NICE cancer drug appraisals.

The PCAG is next due to meet on 18 March 2008, following publication of the NICE clinical guideline “Prostate cancer: diagnosis and treatment”.

I met representatives of the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action on 7 November 2007, and treatment issues discussed were the important role of cancer nurse specialists, patient experience, the Career Research Society and clinical outcomes data.

In addition, since 1 August 2007, the Department has received 57 items of correspondence from patients and clinicians on a wide variety of subjects relating to prostate cancer. Since 6 November 2007, the Department has received 26 parliamentary questions on prostate cancer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of specialist urological cancer teams in England. (184265)

There were over 100 urology local teams and over 50 urology specialist teams in England at the time of the 2004-07 round of the national cancer peer review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of (a) consultant urologists and (b) consultant oncologists he estimates have expertise in urological cancers. (184267)

Data are not collected centrally on the number of urologists and oncologists specialising in urological cancers.

The last work force census showed that as of 30 September 2006, there were 510 consultants working in urology and 482 consultants working in clinical oncology.

There are 1,556 extra cancer consultants since 1997 (a 49.3 per cent. increase) and 3,341 (65.7 per cent.) extra consultants in other specialties who spend a significant amount of their time caring for cancer patients.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of prostate cancer patients had prostate cancer diagnosed at (a) clinical stage I or II, (b) clinical stage III and (c) clinical stage IV in the latest period for which figures are available; and what assessment he has made of the way in which these proportions have changed over time. (184268)

The Department does not publish statistics on the stages at which prostate cancer is diagnosed. The “Cancer Reform Strategy”, published last December, highlights the need to collect and use high quality data on clinical outcomes with adjustments for stage of disease. Part of the new National Cancer Intelligence Network’s work will be, in due course, to co-ordinate the collection and analysis of this data.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cancer networks have a (a) lead clinician, (b) nurse director and (c) service improvement lead for the Improving Outcomes Guidance for urological cancers. (184277)

In terms of the “Improving Outcomes in Urological Cancers” guidance, posts would be at multidisciplinary team (MDT) rather than cancer network level. The most recent round of peer review (2004-07) found that for urological cancer:

100 per cent. and 99 per cent. of local and specialist urological cancer MDTs had a lead clinician respectively;

96 per cent. and 100 per cent. of local and specialist urological cancer MDTs had a clinical nurse specialist respectively; and

92 per cent. and 96 per cent. of local and specialist urological cancer MDTs had service improvement leads respectively.