Now available in 16 languages, the Standards of Care in Paediatric Oncology document has been created after collecting information on the existing criteria regulating the functioning of paediatric haemato-oncology wards at the national level. In 2009 paediatric oncologists, parent’s organisations and policy-makers attended a high-level conference in Warsaw, where discussions resulted in this document. After the same year the European Commission published the ‘Communication on Action against Cancer: European Partnership’, the ‘European Partnership for Action Against Cancer’ (EPAAC) project was created, a unique partnership bringing together stakeholders from the entire cancer continuum in Europe to share knowledge and expertise to prevent and control the burden of cancer. SIOPE has been asked to join EPAAC and lead on the assessment of the relevant organisational aspects in paediatric oncology and the dissemination of the ‘Standards of Care’ document which, in the meanwhile, became one of the project deliverables. A second Europe-wide survey is currently on its way, aiming to assess the implementation of these recommendations after 5 years. The survey results will help SIOPE to better advocate improvements so that all European countries can ensure the best quality of care to children and adolescents with cancer.
The European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) was launched in 2009, after the publication of the Communication on Action against Cancer: European Partnership. This unique partnership brings together stakeholders from the entire cancer continuum in Europe (38 associated partners and 90 collaborating partners), in an effort to share knowledge and expertise to prevent and control the burden of cancer. EPAAC is a unique disease-specific ‘joint action’ which incorporates all bodies involved in cancer: national health ministries, EU policymakers, regional agencies, professional organisations, patient groups, health NGOs and interest groups and industry. SIOPE represents paediatric oncology in this partnership, in order to improve the quality of care and to assess the relevant organisational aspects in our sector. In particular, SIOPE has developed the ‘European Standards of Care for Children with Cancer’, which outlines the minimum standards that institutions should have when caring for our young patients. Now translated in 15 languages (see below), this is a very important document that will help in levelling the current disparities in the treatment of our little patients in Europe.
The EPAAC project will end by January 2014.