The role of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust within OECI

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Published: 4 Nov 2010
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Dr Chris Harrison - The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK

Dr Chris Harrison explains how being part of OECI allows the Christie Centre to compare the service it offers with other institutes across Europe, to combine its resources and conduct research in collaboration with many of the most technically advanced cancer centres in Europe.

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ESMO 2010


Dr Chris Harrison – The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK


The role of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust within OECI



OECI is sometimes seen as a bit of an old boys club and you’re quite a young guy to be attending OECI. What’s in the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes, all 73 of them, what’s in it for The Christie NHS Trust?


I think it’s a fantastic network of the main cancer centres across Europe; it’s an opportunity to meet other people and for us to compare ourselves, most importantly, to be able to say how we stand against other centres across Europe. For The Christie, which is obviously a UK-based centre, being able to compare itself in that way is absolutely essential if we’re going to improve our services for the future.


So you’re not happy with being at the top of the tree in the UK, you’re saying actually our benchmark is over the Channel?


Our benchmark is over the Channel and beyond.


And the Atlantic.


And the Atlantic, indeed, and in order to keep ourselves at the top of the tree and to go further across that tree, across whether it’s the Atlantic or across the Channel, we need to be able to compare ourselves and we need to continue to learn from others. So we need to continue to see how others have successfully integrated research, education, clinical service provision and improve the way that we do that.


Mahasti (Dr Mahasti Saghatchian) has been telling us that at the end of the day the patient will benefit, is that how you see it?


Patient benefit has got to be what this is all about, I think. When we talk about integration of research, education and clinical service it’s all about delivering patient benefit.


And on the research side you’re one of the key partners in a new FP7 project called EurocanPlatform which is twenty or so of probably the more advanced technologically of the OECI members. What are you going to get out of that?


Again we’re going to get networks which allow us to participate in research efforts which go right across Europe. We have a big population base, we have four million people, but modern cancer medicine requires us to work on a much bigger canvas than that and that’s what that gives us.


We’re hoping at, of course, that we’ll be able to help you disseminate best practice from the Northwest of England to all over the world. What should we be doing for you?


I think that’s right, I think the opportunity for us to show what we’ve been doing in terms of technological advances but also some of the ways that we’re organising our cancer services now – locally delivered radiotherapy and chemotherapy services for the future, integrating research, education and clinical service and really putting best practice into practice at the front line.


Thank you very much indeed.