Intent of the optimal care pathways

Optimal care pathways map seven key steps in cancer care. Each of these steps outlines nationally agreed best practice for the best level of care. While the seven steps appear in a linear model, in practice, patient care does not always occur in this way but depends on the particular situation (e.g. the type of cancer, when and how the cancer is diagnosed, prognosis, management, the patient’s decisions and their physiological response to treatment).

The principles underpinning optimal care pathways always put patients at the centre of care throughout their experience and prompt the healthcare system to deliver coordinated care.

The optimal care pathways are based on the principles of best cancer care. The optimal care pathways do not constitute medical advice or replace clinical judgement, and they refer to clinical guidelines and other resources where appropriate.

The optimal care pathway