Quality statement 6: Key worker

Quality statement

People with locally advanced, metastatic or distant recurrent breast cancer are assigned a key worker. [2011, updated 2016]

Rationale

Assigning key workers to people with locally advanced, metastatic or distant recurrent breast cancer leads to better health outcomes. Key workers provide information and support for the person with breast cancer throughout their care. This can help to improve patient experience because people know they have someone who they can discuss their care with. It also helps to ensure that any care takes the person's needs into account.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that people with locally advanced, metastatic or distant recurrent breast cancer are assigned a key worker.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

a) Proportion of people with locally advanced breast cancer with an assigned key worker.

Numerator – the number in the denominator with an assigned key worker.

Denominator – the number of people with locally advanced breast cancer.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Proportion of people with metastatic breast cancer with an assigned key worker.

Numerator – the number in the denominator with an assigned key worker.

Denominator – the number of people with metastatic breast cancer.

Data source: Local data collection.

c) Proportion of people with distant recurrent breast cancer with an assigned key worker.

Numerator – the number in the denominator with an assigned key worker.

Denominator – the number of people with distant recurrent breast cancer.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

Patient satisfaction with information and support received throughout their care for breast cancer.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers (such as secondary care services and tertiary care specialist centres) ensure that systems are in place for people with locally advanced, metastatic or distant recurrent breast cancer to have a key worker.

Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, practice nurses and specialist therapeutic radiographers)ensure they are aware of referral pathways in place so people with locally advanced, metastatic or distant recurrent breast cancer have a key worker.

Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups) ensure that they commission services that assign key workers to people with locally advanced, metastatic or distant recurrent breast cancer.

What the quality statement means for patients, people using services and carers

People with locally advanced, metastatic or distant recurrent breast cancer have a healthcare professional (often a nurse who specialises in breast cancer) assigned to them as their 'key worker'. The key worker gives information and support throughout the person's care.

Source guidance

Advanced breast cancer: diagnosis and treatment (2009) NICE guideline CG81, recommendation 1.4.1

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Key worker

This refers to a named healthcare professional (such as a clinical nurse specialist) who can give information and support throughout the patient pathway to the person with breast cancer and/or their carers.

[Advanced breast cancer: diagnosis and treatment (NICE guideline CG81) and expert consensus]