EONS Position Statement: In support of multidisciplinary working

    EONS statement in support of multidisciplinary working

    We welcome the current discussion about multidisciplinary teams in cancer care. This debate was opened by an ESMO position paper published in Annals of Oncology: The current and future role of the medical oncologist in the professional care for cancer patients.

    A response to the ESMO paper was then written by a working group that included representatives from 21 organisations working in oncology and related fields. This response was also published in Annals of Oncology as: Still a long way to go to achieve multidisciplinarity for the benefit of patients: commentary on the ESMO position paper. EONS supports this response, which makes the key point that close collaboration between cancer professionals is essential rather than optional if we are to achieve excellence in cancer care. Every specialist relies on the support and knowledge of those from other disciplines.

    In 2013, EONS contributed to the EPAAC Policy Statement on Multidisciplinary Cancer Care. This statement makes it clear that multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) are crucial for a patient-centred approach to cancer care. As treatment becomes both more patient-centred and more complex, it is essential for specialist cancer professionals to work together and make consensus decisions. Without this kind of coordination, we risk communication problems, poor use of existing expertise and a fragmented treatment experience for the patient.

    We are pleased that ESMO has begun a debate on multidisciplinary working and expressed a willingness to continue the dialogue on this important subject. The debate recently reached a point of broad agreement on the importance of working together and the fact that cancer care in the 21st century is a team effort. EONS will continue to play a role in positive discussions about how to achieve the best possible cancer treatment through multi-professional teams.

    This statement was issued by EONS in December 2014.