Saturday, 15 November 2014

What is this "MDT" you all talk about?

At the meeting on Saturday 18th October, someone asked "What is this MDT that you all talk about". Well, this is such a good question because it effects anyone going through cancer care. MDT stands for Mutlidisciplinary Team and every cancer site has one. The professionals that make up an MDT are dependent on your cancer site, so for example, a colorectal cancer MDT will have the following people as core members of the MDT; 
  • a minimum of two Colorectal Surgeons
  • Medical Oncologist who takes responsibility for Chemotherapy
  • Clinical Oncologist who takes responsibility for radiotherapy for rectal cancers
  • an imaging specialising (Radiologist)
  • Histopathologist specialising in colon and rectum pathology
  • Colorectal Cancer Nurse Specialist/s
  • An MDT co-ordinator
  • Clinical Trials individual
There should be a single named lead clinician with agreed list of responsibilities for the colorectal MDT who should then be a core team member; here in our local District General Hospital this is a joint lead role between a Colorectal Surgeon and Specialist Nurse to provide a more holistic leadership

These people are not randomly selected but set out in the Manual for Cancer Standards (2014). These standards are monitored annually via a process called the National Cancer Peer Review Programme to ensure compliance.

This is just one of the ways in which cancer care is governed today. Over the coming months we will talk about the various other ways in which cancer care is monitored and reviewed, as well as how you as a patient can have input through feedback of your experience.

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