HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme launches Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy Model of Care

Today (Friday, 17th June 2022), the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) launches the Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) Model of Care, a strategy which aims to provide patients with access to the best quality treatment and standard of care.

SACT is a collective term to describe the growing number of differing therapies used in the treatment of solid tumour and haematological cancers. SACT includes, but is not limited to, chemotherapy, targeted therapies and immunotherapies and can be used on its own or in combination with other cancer treatment modalities such as surgery and radiotherapy as well as being given at various points throughout a patient’s cancer journey.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Risteárd Ó Laoide, HSE NCCP National Director, said: “Launching the SACT Model of Care affords us the opportunity to provide a framework for how we will deliver and continually develop SACT services nationally over the next number of years.”

Speaking at the launch, Professor Maccon Keane, HSE NCCP National Medical Oncology Clinical Advisor, said:  “The primary aim of the SACT Steering Group was to ensure that patients across Ireland have access to the best quality treatment and standard of care as close to the patient’s home as possible.”

Speaking at the launch, Patricia Heckmann, HSE NCCP Assistant National Director Systemic Therapy Programme, NCCP said: “We are delighted to be launching this SACT Model of Care today. An integrated approach across workforce planning, hospital and community services and capital planning as well as the support of all stakeholders will be key to the successful implementation of this Model of Care.”

The incidence and prevalence of cancer in Ireland is growing rapidly. According to the NCRI, the cumulative lifetime risk of being diagnosed with an invasive cancer is approximately one in two for both men and women.

There have been significant advances in cancer treatment in recent years.  The three main pillars of cancer treatment include surgery and radiotherapy and systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT).

This NCCP SACT Model of Care builds on the previous work of the NCCP Systemic Therapy Programme including the NCCP Oncology Medication Safety Review Report (2014) and the NCCP Oral Anti-Cancer Medicine Model of Care.

Key Messages:

  • The NCCP SACT Model of Care will provide a roadmap for the continued development of SACT services across Ireland and will form a template for the highest quality SACT to be delivered to the Irish population over the coming years.
  • It is estimated that the number of patients receiving SACT for the treatment of their cancer will increase by an average of 70% between 2015 and 2045. In addition, recent advances in both diagnostics and SACT therapeutics have highlighted the need to review the approach of the delivery of SACT services.
  • The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 recommended the development of a Model of Care for cancer to achieve integration between primary care and hospital settings which would be flexible and responsive to patient’s needs.
  • This Model of Care was developed by a multidisciplinary steering group including patient advocates and the NCCP.
  • Patient-centred care was central to the development of this document. The overall vision for the NCCP SACT Model of Care is that patients with cancer will receive a high-quality, timely, patient-centred service that is accessible, as close to the patient’s home as possible and appropriate to their needs.
  • The NCCP SACT Model of Care considered and incorporated international best practice and its recommendations to enhance SACT services in Ireland are aligned to Sláintecare principles.
  • Twenty-five key recommendations were set out in the Model of Care to optimise SACT services to ensure the provision of a safe and quality-driven service for all service users. These key recommendations focus on areas including patient experience, organisation of services, governance, quality and safety and defined SACT pathways.
Last updated on: 17 / 06 / 2022