Waiting times for cancer treatment: The impact of multi-disciplinary team meetings

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In the UK, treatment recommendations for patients with cancer are all made within multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings. This has benefits, but it may delay treatment starting if MDT decisions require revision before implementation. This study examined whether changes in MDT treatment decisions after the meeting led to a delay in the start of treatment. Consecutive MDT treatment recommendations were recorded and times to start of treatment were calculated. Comparisons of the time from MDT meeting to start of treatment were made between implemented and non-implemented MDT recommendations. Of 363 MDT recommendations, 71 (19.5%, 95% CIs 15.6-24.0) were not implemented. The median time to start of treatment was 24 days (IQR 12-33), increasing to 35 days (IQR 17-77.5), if the MDT decision required revision to another active therapy (p=0.009). Decisions were changed because details about co-morbidity (n=32, 45%), new clinical information (n=24, 34%) or patient choice became apparent (n=13, 18%) and two changed for no clear reason. Significant delays in starting treatment occur if team treatment recommendations are not implemented. Effort and resources are required to ensure that information is present at meetings to allow comprehensive patient-centred decisions to be made and implemented. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.





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Goolam-Hossen, T, C Metcalfe, A Cameron, B Rocos, S Falk and JM Blazeby (2011). Waiting times for cancer treatment: The impact of multi-disciplinary team meetings. Behaviour and Information Technology, 30(4). pp. 467–471. 10.1080/0144929X.2011.553747 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29721.

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Brett Rocos

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I joined the team at Duke University Health from London, UK, where I was a Consultant Adult and Paediatric Spine Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust and Honorary Consultant Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. I completed my surgical training in in the South West of the UK and at the University of Toronto, and am fellowship trained in adult spine surgery, paediatric spine surgery, orthopaedic trauma surgery, research and healthcare management.

I am driven to support patients at every stage of their care, from clinic assessment, through surgery to discharge. Making sure that every person, adult, child, family or friend understands what’s wrong, helping them to choose the right treatment for them, and what the recovery will be like is an important priority.

My research activity focusses on finding effective new treatments for spinal disorders and bringing them to patients. Focusing on spinal deformity, I have led investigations in the UK, Canada and the USA, and I sit on the Global AO Knowledge Forum for Deformity and the Research Grants Committee at the Scoliosis Research Society. I have lectured in North America and Europe about the treatment of spine disorders for the Scoliosis Research Society, Global Spine Congress, AO Spine and Eurospine, and I have worked hard to produce research that improves the care for spine patients wherever they live. Lastly, I review for several orthopaedic journals and I am Deputy Editor of the Bone and Joint 360, a leading publication with a global readership.

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