Quality statement 5: Coordinating care for adults with metastatic spinal cord compression

Quality statement

Adults with metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) have their ongoing care coordinated by an MSCC coordinator.

Rationale

The care and treatment of adults with MSCC may involve a number of specialties including oncology, surgery and radiology. It is important that the ongoing investigations and treatments are undertaken promptly because early intervention has a positive effect on MSCC outcomes. The principal role of the MSCC coordinator for adults with MSCC is to liaise with the relevant specialists and organise treatment and any ongoing investigations, ensuring that the ongoing care of adults with MSCC is both comprehensive and timely.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements for identifying individuals responsible for performing the role of MSCC coordinator.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that adults with MSCC have their ongoing care coordinated by an MSCC coordinator.

Data source: Local data collection. Department of Health Acute Oncology Measures 11‑3Y‑304 (The MSCC Coordinator Service) Manual for cancer services: acute oncology – including metatastic spinal cord compression measures (2011).

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

Service providers ensure that an MSCC coordinator is available to coordinate the ongoing care for adults with MSCC.

Healthcare professionals ensure that they arrange access to the MSCC coordinator who will coordinate the ongoing care for adults with MSCC.

Commissioners ensure that they commission services that provide access to an MSCC coordinator who will coordinate the ongoing care for adults with MSCC.

What the quality statement means for patients, service users and carers

Adults with MSCC have their treatment organised by a coordinator who will oversee important aspects of care on their behalf.

Source guidance

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

MSCC coordinator role

The role involves coordinating the ongoing care of adults with MSCC and the diagnostic investigations of people at risk of developing MSCC who present with relevant symptoms. An MSCC coordinator should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, acting as a single point of contact for healthcare professionals to liaise with.

The MSCC coordinator's responsibilities and the support they should receive are described in NICE clinical guideline 75 recommendations 1.1.2.3 and 1.1.2.5.

The Manual for cancer services: acute oncology – including metatastic spinal cord compression measures (2011; measure 11‑3Y‑304) lists the criteria that the MSCC coordinator service should fulfil.