Background: Using data from a national survey, this study aimed to address whether the current model for multidisciplinary team (MDT) working is appropriate for all tumour types.
Patients and methods: Responses to the 2009 National Cancer Action Team national survey were analysed by tumour type. Differences indicate lack of consensus between MDT members in different tumour types.
Results: One thousand one hundred and forty-one respondents from breast, gynaecological, colorectal, upper gastrointestinal, urological, head and neck, haematological and lung MDTs were included. One hundred and sixteen of 136 statements demonstrated consensus between respondents in different tumour types. There were no differences regarding the infrastructure for meetings and team governance. Significant consensus was seen for team characteristics, and respondents disagreed regarding certain aspects of meeting organisations and logistics, and patient-centred decision making. Haematology MDT members were outliers in relation to the clinical decision-making process, and lung MDT members disagreed with other tumour types regarding treating patients with advanced disease.
Conclusions: This analysis reveals strong consensus between MDT members from different tumour types, while also identifying areas that require a more tailored approach, such as the clinical decision-making process, and preparation for and the organisation of MDT meetings. Policymakers should remain sensitive to the needs of health care teams working in individual tumour types.