This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of people with suspected cancer.
Patients and healthcare professionals have rights and responsibilities as set out in the NHS Constitution for England – all NICE guidance is written to reflect these. Treatment and care should take into account individual needs and preferences. Patients should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If the patient is under 16, their family or carers should also be given information and support to help the child or young person to make decisions about their treatment. If it is clear that the child or young person fully understands the treatment and does not want their family or carers to be involved, they can give their own consent. Healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent. If someone does not have capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act and the supplementary code of practice on deprivation of liberty safeguards.
NICE has produced guidance on the components of good patient experience in adult NHS services. All healthcare professionals should follow the recommendations in patient experience in adult NHS services.
If a young person is moving between paediatric and adult services, care should be planned and managed according to the best practice guidance described in the Department of Health's Transition: getting it right for young people.
Adult and paediatric healthcare teams should work jointly to provide assessment and services to young people with suspected cancer. Diagnosis and management should be reviewed throughout the transition process, and there should be clarity about who is the lead clinician to ensure continuity of care.