The experiences of head and neck cancer patients improved after the publication of NICE’s Improving Outcomes Guidance around a dozen years ago Not long afterwards a national audit of head and neck patients called DAHNO was introduced.
It collected many details of the treatment of patients and this enabled clinicians and others who analysed the data to make recommendations to improve the patient experience.
For a patient group like NALC it is valuable to know the facts about the numbers of patients adopting a particular method of speech after a laryngectomy or how many had radiotherapy as opposed to laser surgery for early cancer of the larynx and variations across the country.
In 2015 DAHNO was replaced by a new audit, HANA.
Sadly NHS England will not be providing funding beyond the current year, but the group, led by Professor Iain Hutchison, are seeking to continue the audit. They deserve the support of everyone who is concerned about improving the standard of care for head and neck cancer patients.