WP05 - Assuring Quality of Care

Leader: Simon Oberst

The Objectives of WP5 coordinated by the OECI are:

  • To map the existing networks of care for all 11 families of adult rare cancers across all Member States and identify gaps in current provision and inequalities of patient access.
  • To propose consistent and Europe-wide systems-based standards for all families of rare cancers and the networks serving them. These standards will include provision for the holistic care of patients and their care providers from the beginning of the diagnostic process through to survivorship, rehabilitation or End of Life.
  • To design Quality Assurance systems or processes specific to rare cancers supplemental to the European Reference Network – ERN – requirements. The aim would be to promote and assure the above mentioned standards and criteria are adopted on a large scale, a system of continuous quality improvement be established, best practice shared, and equality of care established for rare cancers across Europe.

The OECI is a non-governmental, non-profit Organisation founded in Vienna in 1979 and remodelled in 2005 into OECI-EEIG, a European Economic Interest Grouping, headquartered in Brussels. The OECI counts 78 Member Institutes, which include some of the most prominent European Comprehensive Cancer Centres.

The Organisation’s objectives are to create a critical mass of expertise and competences and contribute to the production and dissemination of knowledge, so to reduce fragmentation and increase competitiveness. These goals are being achieved by promoting and strengthening the concept of “comprehensiveness”, supporting quality in cancer care also through a well-structured internal organisation. The OECI aims to accelerate the production and application of personalised care approaches, and to ensure equal rights to all cancer patients, with the ultimate goal of finding new and better treatments, providing more comprehensive care and improving patient quality of life, through evidence-based medicine.

The increasing interest from international organisations, stakeholders & the cancer community in the OECI points to the growing importance of a comprehensive cancer network of institutions, where the entire chain of cancer care provision is present.

The OECI has 12 years’ experience of designing and implementing quality standards and guidelines for Cancer Centres across Europe. 33 Cancer Centres in Europe have so far been fully accredited following an in depth self-assessment and peer review process, which is independent and internationally recognised. The OECI and its affiliates bring their full knowledge and experience to the JARC project, including the quality control and management standards which ensure that patients with complex cancer conditions are diagnosed and managed in a timely, accurate, safe and person-centred way.

These quality standards and guidelines cover: management processes; clinical care; research (clinical and translational); education and training; and patient involvement.