ACE to pilot new, innovative care models in England

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The ACE Programme plans to pilot a new diagnostic pathway for patients with ‘non-specific but concerning symptoms’ – a pathway which incorporates a Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Centre (MDC).

The ACE Programme plans to pilot a new diagnostic pathway for patients with ‘non-specific but concerning symptoms’ – a pathway which incorporates a Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Centre (MDC).

Patients who display symptoms or a combination of ‘non-specific’ symptoms that indicate several different cancers currently don’t have an effective referral pathway. So, as a result, go back and forth between primary and secondary care, present to emergency services or fall through the gap – which leads to delays to diagnosis and subsequently poor outcomes.

The Independent Cancer Taskforce’s strategy (July 2015) recommends MDCs as an effective way to address this current weakness in the NHS. ACE aims to action this recommendation by testing how feasible this referral route will be for the NHS in England. This pioneering pathway can include several NHS provider organisations involving primary and secondary care.

Pilots form 'Wave 2' of the programme, which aims to test how feasible this referral route will be for the NHS in England - a recommendation outlined in The Independent Cancer Taskforce's strategy (July 2015).

ACE wants to assess how clinically and economically effective an Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Centre (MDC) model would be for England.

With the Wave 2 pilots, ACE will assess MDC’s effectiveness to;

  • shift from late to early cancer diagnosis at stages I & II
  • reduce the number of emergency presentation diagnoses
  • improve patient experience

The Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Centre (MDC) concept comes from Denmark where a patient can undergo several diagnostic tests in one location, at the same time, leading to a faster diagnosis. An MDC doesn’t have to be a new ‘centre’, but can be set up within an existing hospital or community setting and would supplement cancer specific diagnostic pathways.

MDCs can potentially be an effective way to support patients with non-specific symptoms who tend to present late, and support GPs whom are unsure of the appropriate referral pathway.

Infographic of how MDCs could improve early diagnosis​​​

How MDCs could improve early diagnosis poster

 

Read more about the Danish cancer pathway for patients with serious non-specific symptoms

Read more about the Danish three-legged strategy

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