A Triggers service is a collaborative partnership between SCPCT and oncology teams . Using the Triggers Tool to identify new patients attending clinic who may present with physical or psychological symptoms to which they may benefit from an earlier palliative care referral. Both teams adopting co-productive strategies to shape service delivery which would include:- 

  • Shared understanding of the benefits of introducing earlier palliative care to their patient population 
  • Joint identification of target patient population 
  • Joint discussion of roles within clinic to avoid work duplication 
  • Data collection is woven into the service to show patient impact

Minimum requirements for adoption of service

For the patient For oncology and SCPCT For the organisation

Minimal risk attributed to patient population


Initial concern of meeting the SCPCT would be lessened through educational delivery through posters/patient information leaflets/1st letters to highlight the service

Minimal risk attributed to oncology team


Novel ways of patient delivery will result in initial confusion of roles.  This can be removed by delivering an educational 

programme prior to commencing clinic and through adopting co-design between teams to discuss role definitions, identifying patient populations and data collection when operating in clinic

Potential risk to SCPCT if insufficient resources are not in place prior to start

A degree of financial risk as measurements will be unknown at start of process

A degree or risk attributed to wider inconsistencies in community services 













Key questions for SCPCT and oncology teams need to consider before adopting this service

How to develop a Triggers service into your clinical area

The critical steps in creating a Triggers service

  • A shared future vision
  • Shared understanding
  • Imbeds flexibility in service delivery
  • Commit to learn, review & adapt throughout

Potential impact of collaboration


How would you measure the effectiveness of the service?

Measurable outcomes

Short term Intermediate outcomes Long term outcomes
New symptomatic patients attending clinic quickly identified, intervention in place and reviewed earlier 
Symptoms controlled at a much earlier time 
Earlier review by Triggers service could free oncologists in clinic to see other patients 
Improved patient experience 
Potentially-could reduce hospital admissions as symptoms addressed at a much earlier stage. 
Improved, collaborative relationship between SCPCT and oncology teams 
Transfer of information to community colleagues to facilitate ongoing patient support 
Better utilization of acute, primary and secondary services-that patients are introduced to community teams earlier in their cancer trajectory 
Improved communication between departments 
Seamless transfer of patient care between departments