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Saolta Cancer Centre Annual Report 2013

Saolta Cancer Centre Annual Report 2013 Foreward - The delivery of modern cancer care is a major enterprise involving a diverse group of specialists across a variety of clinical disciplines. This report highlights the extensive programme of cancer care delivered to the population of the West and North West of Ireland via our Cancer Centre. Capturing the complexity, variety and nature of this work in a backdrop of a major academic hospital and its affiliated regional institutions is a challenge. This report is possible because of the outstanding work performed by the Cancer Information Team in this regard.

Data from the Galway University Hospitals (GUH) cancer service is logged via the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry System (HIPE), the National Cancer Registry (NCR), data submitted to the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and individual databases in the various specialist units and hospitals. In the absence of a unique patient/health identifier there are limitations and constraints on individual databases and these are highlighted in this report. Data sources may differ due to variations in referral centres. I am very grateful for the far-reaching support from the key national, regional and local data sources.

HIPE remains the gold standard for reporting inpatient care. I am deeply grateful to Seamus Leonard (GUH HIPE Project Manager) whose excellent work has allowed integration of inpatient activity and production of this report. Dr Sue Hennessy (GUH Waiting List Manager) has provided all outpatient data and deserves an additional note of thanks.

Multidisciplinary care for cancer patients is now the norm and the extensive contribution to our multidisciplinary programmes, complex nature of the teams and the planning of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions and individualisation of therapy for cancer patients is now taken for granted. The contribution of individuals and disciplines, including Radiology, Pathology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Surgery, to the functioning of multidisciplinary teams is huge. Functional multidisciplinary meetings and teamwork are the glue that binds the Cancer Centre together and there are many team members – nursing, laboratory and administration - whose work in this regard is often unnoticed and undervalued. This report acknowledges their input and thanks them for their support.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the clinical cancer leads, Marie Cox (Group Cancer Services Manager), Emer Hennessy (NUI Galway) and the management of the Saolta University Health Care Group for their support in putting this report together. It is a testimony to the hard work of many people and an example of the many strands being drawn together to deliver a coherent programme of care.

Professor Michael J Kerin Chair, Cancer Strategy Group Saolta University Heath Care Group