Jim Fitzpatrick MP was delighted to attend the launch of Melanoma UK and the Melanoma Dashboard on Tuesday 3rd February in the House of Commons. The Melanoma Dashboard is a new online tool that brings together information allowing patients to find their local melanoma services and compare how services in their area perform against the rest of the country. Mr Fitzpatrick was able to view specific melanoma data available for Limehouse and Poplar and believes patients will now be able to access all the information they need in one place.
Malignant melanoma is one of the top ten cancers in the UK for both men and women and over the last 25 years, rates of melanoma have risen faster than any of the other cancers in this group.
There is a wide range of existing data about melanoma in England but this data is often accessible from a number of different sources. Melanoma UK and Bristol-Myers Squibb developed the Melanoma Dashboard to bring together a number of existing data sets in one user-friendly web comparison tool. The Melanoma Dashboard displays various data relating to melanoma in all 324 local authority areas in England, enabling users to access:
The most recent statistics on melanoma incidence and mortality rates by age and gender;
Data on sunshine hours and sunbed density rates;
Statistics on waiting times for patients with suspected skin cancer, length of hospital stays and specialist staff;
Information on local cancer support services.
The level of public awareness of melanoma continues to be a problem and more needs to be done to ensure patients, the public and health professionals are equipped with the right information about the disease to access the support they need and improve outcomes. Much of this information is displayed on the dashboard via coloured graphs and a heat map of England which enables users to see where their local area is ranked for each set of data.
Gill Nuttall, Founder of Melanoma UK said: “In creating the Melanoma Dashboard, we hope that patients and the public will be better equipped with information about melanoma and specialist care services and support in their area. By highlighting variation in incidence and mortality, it is also an essential way of showing where further work is needed and where services can be improved.”