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Cancer Alliances

In July 2015 the Independent Cancer Taskforce published its strategy for achieving the Five Year Forward View vision to improve cancer outcomes by 2020. Recommendation 78 cites Cancer Alliances as the driving force needed to achieve this vision. The ambition is to improve services and care outcomes for everyone with cancer so that fewer people get cancer, more survive, have a good experience of treatment and care wherever they live and are supported to live as well as possible once their treatment has finished.

There are 19 Cancer Alliances nationally. The two in the North West Coast cover the same footprint as the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and are:

  • Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Alliance, chaired by Dr Damian Riley, Medical Director at East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust

  • Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance, chaired by Andrew Cannell, CEO at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

Both Cancer Alliances are supported by the lead cancer clinicians from the North West Coast Cancer Networks. Their clinical engagement through the Networks, along with the SCN’s ongoing support of Cancer Clinical Network Groups, play a key role in supporting plans to deliver the national strategy recommendations and are invaluable in developing Cancer Alliance delivery plans.

Bringing together local clinical and managerial leaders from providers and commissioners who represent the whole cancer pathway, Cancer Alliances provide the opportunity for a different way of working to improve and transform cancer services. Cancer Alliance partners are able to take a whole population, whole pathway approach to improving outcomes across their geographical footprints, building on their relevant STP plans.

Working collaboratively in this way facilitates the sharing of best practice to reduce variation in outcomes and experience across the cancer pathway. This includes not only geographic variation, but also variation between different groups of cancer patients, such as older people, children and young people, people with rarer cancers, people with cancer and learning disabilities, people with cancer and a mental health condition, and people with cancer from a BME community or a hard to reach group.