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Provincial Cancer Service Delivery Review

NSThe work by external consultants, Dr. Tony Fields from Alberta and Ms. Karen Janes from British Columbia, on the Provincial Cancer Service Delivery Review continues. After reviewing background materials, Dr. Fields and Ms. Janes spent four-and-a-half days in Nova Scotia in mid-September meeting with representative stakeholder groups.

During that time, they met with 168 health professionals and administrators from across the province in Halifax, Truro, Cape Breton and Bridgewater. In addition, 175 health professionals and administrators, 40 patients and families, and five community-based organizations completed electronic surveys.

Thanks to all who made time in their schedules to contribute to the review by attending a face to face meeting and/or by completing an electronic survey. Your input is important.

Overall, Dr. Fields and Ms. Janes indicated they were very impressed with the good work occurring in Nova Scotia, the dedication of staff, and all that has been and continues to be done with limited resources.

The consultants noted that there is good inter-professional collaboration, a lot of expertise in the system, and an “impressive work ethic”. They indicated that this provides a solid foundation to build on --- to ensure the right supports are in place to improve and enable quality patient care within the new provincial health authority.

Recurring themes shared in both the surveys and in the face to face meetings included: the need for strong clinical leadership in the cancer system; the need for better coordination in the system; the need to address the issue of cancer drugs – both oral and IV chemotherapy, and the need to look at remuneration models.

The next steps in the service delivery review are as follows: consultants will send a draft report to the Project Team in mid October for review; the Project Team will work with the consultants to prepare the draft for distribution to the Steering Committee later in October for detailed review and discussion. The Steering Committee’s comments will be forwarded to the consultants for incorporation into the final report, which will be sent to the Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) the middle of November.

The DHW is anxious to receive this report and its recommendations, and will continue to support this work as we move to implementation.

CCNS appreciates the willingness of all who, under a very tight timeline, ensured the consultants heard and received your input about the strengths and challenges of current cancer service delivery in Nova Scotia. We will keep you posted as this work unfolds.