The Scottish Ovarian Cancer Forum: A Feasibility Project established a multi-centre, collaborative, real-time, educational multidisciplinary forum for women with advanced ovarian cancer stage 3/4 being considered for surgery (upfront or interval). The project was a one-year pilot aimed at improving ovarian cancer care in Scotland: The initiative focused on standardising the approach to diagnosis and treatment by fostering greater interdisciplinary collaboration.
The project originated due to disparities in ovarian cancer surgical rates across Scotland, which suggested unequal access to optimal care. By ensuring that each case was discussed in a specialist multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting, the project hoped to provide a more balanced and consistent care approach.
The project faced several challenges, such as administrative difficulties, communication issues between various teams, and concerns over data sharing. Nevertheless, the project team found ways to navigate these issues and made substantial strides towards achieving their goals. Interviews with participants offered valuable insights on the strengths and weaknesses of the project. Feedback showed that while the project had made significant improvements, there were still areas that needed further work to ensure the long-term sustainability of the changes implemented.
The project's effects were measured by collecting and analysing patient data, outcome sheets, follow-up data, and performance status scores. These measures revealed improvements in surgery rates and a more consistent approach to care, illustrating the project's success. The project produced several key outputs, including operation policies, outcome forms, surgical guidelines, and draft national radiology consensus. These tools provide a basis for continuing the improvements made during the project and will help shape the future of ovarian cancer care in Scotland.
Despite the challenges faced, the project managed to increase the proportion of women with ovarian cancer whose cases were discussed at a specialist MDT meeting, reflecting the project's successful effort to enhance patient care across Scotland.
Project Title Scottish Ovarian Cancer Forum (SOCF): A Feasibility Pilot
Project Lead & Pilot location Dr Mary Cairns – Aberdeen Royal Infirmary – NHS Grampian
Inequality Criteria Age and location
Objective Criteria Improve survival rates & reducing inequalities