During 2019/20, TCST undertook a scoping exercise regarding fertility preservation for people affected by cancer. The aim of the Fertility and Cancer Scoping Report is to provide CCGs/STPs/ICSs, cancer alliances, clinicians and management teams with a greater understanding of the fertility preservation services and support offered to people aged 16 and over affected by cancer in London. This includes both Teenage and Young Adult and Adult Cancer Services for both men and women.
Whilst some work was put on hold due to Covid-19, the report includes the following completed components:
- An overview of why fertility is an important consideration for cancer patients
- A survey of cancer clinicians designed to understand fertility preservation and support services offered by cancer services and understand cancer team’s education, training, and confidence levels in discussing fertility with patients
- A comparison of CCG/STP fertility preservation policies
- Thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with fertility and cancer clinicians
- An overview of cancer and fertility data
- A ‘checklist’ for systems who wish to reduce variation in fertility preservation services/support for cancer patients. The checklist includes:
- Conducting patient focus groups and/or interviews
- Mapping where cancer services refer their patients to for fertility preservation services and support
- Conducting an up to date literature and policy review
- Reviewing STP/ICS fertility preservation policies in line with NICE guidance
- Educating and raising awareness about fertility preservation and support with healthcare professionals and referrers in cancer services
- Developing a clear, concise referral and communication pathway between cancer and fertility services.
It is important to note that this work ended prematurely due to the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 when NHS England declared a level four incident due to the pandemic. This meant project work unrelated to Covid-19 was halted in the top down command and control structure where NHS England determined local activity and priorities.
A copy of the report can be found here.