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Towards reducing inequalities: European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer

Published:December 02, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2013.11.004

      Abstract

      Despite the increase of cure rates in the treatment of children with cancer there is a significant discrepancy in the outcome within Europe. Data are showing us that there is a difference of 20% in outcomes for young people with cancer when comparing North and Western Europe with Central and Eastern Europe. One of the most important necessities, in order to be able to have comparable results and equitable outcomes about inequalities, is to have the Principle Treatment Centres, meeting a minimum level of standards and being accessible to continuously updated ‘best practice’.
      The European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE) has initiated a study in order to monitor the current situation of the European Standards of Paediatric Oncology Centres. The results of the study showed disparities of Standards of Care in the Treatment Centres across Europe. Therefore SIOPE initiated a project aimed at improving the Quality-of-Care of children and adolescents with cancer and to assess the relevant organisational aspects within paediatric oncology.
      At the first European Union (EU) Conference in Warsaw 2009, an agreement was obtained from all involved stakeholders to initiate the creation of Pan-European guidelines entitled ‘European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer’. The guidelines outlined in this document represent the minimum standards of care that should be implemented at the EU level. Describing the different aspects of Care over 15 chapters and available in more than 16 different EU languages these guidelines are used as tools for both professionals and parent/patients groups in order to advocate ‘improved standards across EU’.

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