Practicalities, challenges and solutions to delivering a national organisational survey of cancer service and processes: lessons from the National Prostate Cancer Audit.

Organisational surveys are a critical process to assess the configuration and availability of services within health care systems. Cancer service organizational surveys enable understanding of variation in structure, processes and outcomes of cancer care according to the availability of facilities and their geographical organisation. This is critical for evaluating the delivery of cancer care services across a specified region. Furthermore, the organisational survey provides essential information about patient support services which can be used to inform patients where particular allied health services are available. The National Prostate Cancer Audit (NPCA) is an audit of all prostate cancer services in England and Wales. The NPCA encompasses all prostate cancer diagnostics, treatments (including surgery, radiotherapy and systemic therapy) and allied services. The NPCA conducted an organisational survey in 2021 via an online questionnaire sent to the prostate cancer clinical leads within each of the 138 NHS providers and we had a response rate of 93%. There are many challenges to conducting an organisational survey and gaining a high completion rate is still difficult. The challenges that the NPCA faced included accuracy,completion, duplicates and discrepancies in responses. From this experience, we have developed some suggestions for the practical delivery and development of future organisational surveys. It was thanks to the use of many of these strategies, and the engagement of clinicians with the NPCA, that we were able to achieve such a high response rate. Despite these challenges, the importance of organisational surveys of cancer services is demonstrated by the better understanding of structure, processes and outcomes of cancer care according to the accessibility of facilities and their geographical organisation. This is essential for evaluating and improving the delivery of cancer care services across a region.

Journal of cancer policy. 2022 Jun 17 [Epub ahead of print]

Joanna Dodkins, Melanie Morris, Julie Nossiter, Jan van der Meulen, Heather Payne, Noel Clarke, Ajay Aggarwal

Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Royal College of Surgeons, London, United Kingdom; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. Electronic address: ., Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Royal College of Surgeons, London, United Kingdom; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom., Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Royal College of Surgeons, London, United Kingdom; University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom., Clinical Effectiveness Unit, Royal College of Surgeons, London, United Kingdom; The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom., London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom; King's College London, United Kingdom.

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