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Sarcoma and idiopathic fibrosis guidance published

Two quality standards of care have been released by National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The guidelines refer specifically to the care of patients with sarcoma and idiopathic fibrosis to ensure they have access to the right healthcare and social care professionals.

Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the cells supporting tissues and organs. More than 3,800 people were diagnosed with the condition in 2010.

The new standard includes six statements which focus on making sure that people with sarcoma are treated by healthcare professionals who are experienced in managing the condition.

This includes ensuring that care plans for people with bone sarcoma and adults with soft tissue sarcoma are confirmed by a specialist sarcoma multidisciplinary team even if the care will be delivered by other services.

In a separate standard, NICE has issued priorities for diagnosing and treating people with a lung disorder known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis affects around 13,000 people in England. And each year up to 4,000 people are diagnosed with lung disorders that affect the small airways of the lungs, many of whom will have this disorder.

The standard contains five statements including one highlighting the importance of a multidisciplinary team when diagnosing people. The core team should include consultants in respiratory and chest radiology, alongside a specialist nurse and team coordinator. Other healthcare professionals may join the team at different stages of a person's disease.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: “With rare or complex diseases it becomes even more important that people have their care overseen by specialists who are experts in treating their condition. With the new standard for sarcoma, we highlight the vital role the specialist multidisciplinary team plays in setting a care plan for people with this condition working alongside other doctors, nurses or allied health professionals. With our standard for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis we set out priorities to ensure that people have access to the right specialists and are properly supported through every stage of this serious and progressive lung disorder.”

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