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Patient information collection and transfer between shared care and specialist centres

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The aim of this guideline is to ensure the effective and timely communication of patient information between the Shared Care Centre and the Specialist Centre.

  1. The Specialist Centre will provide the Shared Care Centre with 24 hour access to paediatric oncology medical and nursing advice and support.
  2. The Specialist Centre will provide the family with appropriate contact information for their Shared Care Centre at first discharge.
  3. Where possible, Specialist Centres will advise families and patients at first admission, which aspects of their care will be provided by a Shared Care Centre that has appropriate resources and experience to deliver safe secondary care. The Specialist Centre will maintain an awareness of resources available at the relevant Shared Care Centre to enable them to inform appropriate expectations of the family.
  4. Centres will provide timely hand over of care when a patient and family transition between centres. Information transfer may be by telephone discussion, email, letter or video conference depending on patient circumstances. However, particularly for the first transfer back to a Shared Care Centre, written documentation should follow verbal communication in a timely manner.
  5. Transfers from Specialist to Shared Care Centres, will be planned and communicated in such a way as to minimize the disruption of short notice or end of week transfers.
  6. The Specialist Centre will provide the Shared Care Centre with sufficient information to enable safe continuity of care, including information about the relevant care and support provided by members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT). In the case of a complex patient or family issue, the relevant member of the MDT will communicate directly with their counterpart in the Shared Care Centre.
  7. The Specialist Centre will notify the Shared Care Centre when a patient returns to their region for a short period, even if it is not envisaged that Shared Care Intervention will be required.
  8. The written record of patient contacts will be made available in a timely fashion to all relevant parties including (primary, secondary and tertiary care providers as appropriate.
  9. The Specialist Centre will provide specific details of any interventions that are required while the patient is under the care of the Shared Care Centre, including any therapy and investigations which need to be carried out and the time frames for those. The Shared Care Centre will notify the Specialist Centre in a timely fashion if there are difficulties, such as time delays, with such requests.
  10. The Specialist Centre, in keeping with the principle of "treatment as close to home as safely possible", will maintain an awareness of resources available at each Shared Care Centre and seek to utilize those wherever possible. The Shared Care Paediatrician will make the Specialist Centre aware of any changes which require interventions to take place at the Specialist Centre or allow the Shared Care Centre to undertake additional interventions.
  11. The Specialist Centre will indicate any investigations which are required for patients on trials and the timing for those. The results will be provided by the Shared Care Centre in a timely manner.
  12. The transmission of information by fax is regarded as sub-optimal and will be replaced by scanned images sent between dedicated child cancer mailboxes which are monitored at least daily. Where patient care requires urgent patient transfer, a telephoned notification will draw attention to the transmission of a new message.
  13. Where information technology exists, imaging and laboratory test results will be made available between centres through secure mechanisms. (eg PACS, TestSafe).

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  • Date last published: 01 August 2014
  • Document type: Clinical Guideline
  • Services responsible: National Child Cancer Network