The impact of a managed clinical network on referral patterns of sarcoma patients in Grampian

Scott Med J. 2014 May;59(2):108-13. doi: 10.1177/0036933014529241. Epub 2014 Apr 1.


In 2004, the Scottish Sarcoma Managed Clinical Network (SSMCN) was established with the aim of optimising the management of patients diagnosed with sarcoma in Scotland. Clinical, radiological, oncological and pathological details of all bone and soft tissue sarcomas presenting in Scotland are registered and cases discussed in a weekly multi-centre, tele-link multidisciplinary team (MDT) forum. Sarcoma surgery and pathology assessment is undertaken in three specialist centres, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow with oncological services provided within these units as well as in Dundee and Inverness. The aim of this study was to establish any difference in referral patterns, time to specialist review, preoperative magnetic resonance imaging scanning and whether complete margins were achieved on formal resection before and after establishment of the Scottish Sarcoma Network. A database was established of all patients presenting with sarcomas of the trunk or extremity in Grampian between 1991 and 2009. Notes for 158 patients were available for review. Seventy-nine (50%) patients presented prior to the establishment of the Scottish Sarcoma Network. Cohort analysis reveals that the establishment of the SSMCN has had a positive impact on the management of sarcoma. The number of patients undergoing formal resection by the specialist surgical team has significantly increased while the waiting time from referral to assessment by the sarcoma service has decreased.

Keywords: Managed clinical network; primary bone tumour; soft tissue sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Bone Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Delayed Diagnosis / prevention & control*
  • Delayed Diagnosis / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Sarcoma / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoma / epidemiology
  • Scotland
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Waiting Lists