Standards describe the level and quality of service that a person affected by cancer should have access to. They are to be used by DHBs, NGOs, private providers, regional and national cancer networks and the Ministry as the benchmark for high-quality care. They provide the ability to measure the quality, access and impact of services. Currently the national provisional tumour standards contain versions of the following general standards that

relate to supportive care:

·        All patients with [specific cancer] and their family/whānau have equitable and coordinated access to appropriate medical, Allied Health and supportive care services, in accordance with Guidance for Improving Supportive Care for Adults with Cancer in New Zealand, 2010.


·        Patients with [specific] cancer have access to a [specific] cancer clinical nurse specialist or other health professional who is a member of the MDM to help coordinate all aspects of their care.


In addition, various services and organisations have developed standards and quality measures that include aspects of supportive care. This work aims to expand on these general standards to support the sector to develop, improve and monitor quality supportive care services specifically for cancer.


The standards apply to any person or organisation that provides care and services to patients with

cancer in New Zealand.


It is also the intention that these standards be used to develop key performance indicators that will be audited and used to drive improvements in services.


Monitoring Requirements


Indicators to measure access to and the effectiveness of supportive care, including understanding the patient’s experience of that care, should be identified and included in regional and national reporting.


Output measures that DHBs and NGOs can implement are:

·        Evidence of supportive care needs assessments being undertaken

·        Referrals to supportive care services

·        Workforce involved in delivering supportive care services

·        Involvement of consumers and Māori in service improvement activities

·        Evidence of policies and procedures relating to supportive care

·        Evidence of the use of care plans.


For all of these measures it is important for ethnicity data to be captured and reported to ensure equity issues are able to be identified and addressed.


Outcome measures can be more difficult to identify and report. However the use of patient experience surveys, case reviews, audits and consumer input can all add to the improvement of supportive care services.


Workforce Competencies


Workforce competencies are matched to the standards to provide the health and supportive care workforce with information on the skills and knowledge required to provide optimum supportive care for people affected by cancer.


These can be used to:

·        Identify gaps in learning and provide resources to support education in specific areas

·        Give guidance for orientation when moving into cancer care

·        Indicate competencies for position descriptions

·        Provide a focus for aspects of training.


Represented in the diagram below are the varying practice interventions of the workforce in providing supportive care. In applying this understanding all health and supportive care workers, regardless of practice setting, are likely to have contact with people affected by cancer and will therefore require some level of capability in supportive care. This work doesn’t set out to provide competencies for the advanced or specialist workforce in this area, but there will be aspects within the competencies which all the workforce can benefit from.



Last Updated October 2016