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Acute oncology services have developed differently throughout the UK, but there are common principles. The documents below provide guidance and recommendations for the development and implementation of acute oncology services.

Cancer care at the front door:The future of acute oncology in Wales (RCP 2023)- RCP Cymru Wales has launched a major new report calling for investment in emergency cancer care at the front door. Drawing on the experiences of patients, doctors, nurses and therapists from around Wales, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is calling on all health boards to invest in acute oncology services (AOS) and ambulatory (same day) care, which can improve patient experience and medical outcomes, reduce hospital length of stay, and keep people at home for longer.This new report, endorsed by the Society for Acute Medicine, finds that many cancer patients will, at some point in their illness, need specialist emergency cancer care in their local hospital A&E. However, there is an unplanned and unmet need for AOS at the hospital front door across much of Wales, which means that cancer patients can have a very poor experience in a crisis.

Wherever a patient lives in Wales, they should be able to access high-quality, supportive and patient-centred AOS.

  • The Clinical Advice to Cancer Alliances for the Commissioning of Acute Oncology Services (NHS England):The purpose of this document is to inform cancer and urgent care commissioners (specialist commissioning and local clinical commissioning Groups) and Providers of the requirements for establishing effective Acute Oncology services and outcome metrics and to recognise Acute Oncology as a vehicle to continuously improve the quality, safety and delivery of seamless urgent cancer care across primary, secondary and tertiary boundaries 
  •  Wales Acute Oncology Standards:These standards have been developed to provide a foundation for the NHS in Wales to plan and deliver effective high quality services for people with cancer, either known, or yet to be diagnosed, who present acutely to the NHS. These standards for acute oncology build on the current chemotherapy standards integral to the National Cancer Standards for Wales 

Regional projects

North Merseyside Macmillan Project: Urgent Care and Cancer& Cancer Care of the Elderly . Emerging evidence through data analysis  and patient engagement.

Written by Dr Ernie Marshall (CCC Oncologist and Clinical Lead) and Elliot Graves (Macmillan Project Manager) with support from the

Macmillan Project Team and Project Board



Acute oncology services have also developed locally to suit service demand and available resources.

We are keen to share resources that you have developed and information that you have collected.

For example:

  •  Acute oncology operational policies

  • Job Descriptions for all disciplines

  • Pathways and guidelines

  • Service reviews and data

If you would like to contribute to the resource library please contact us here


Please note that you should always assume that the website group, society and authors /owners of any of these documents links or guidance make no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of any of the content and make no warranties express implied or otherwise and cannot be held responsible for any liability, loss or damage whatsoever caused by the use of the content. You should always act within the limits of your competence and seek senior advice or support where appropriate.