Follow NWC SCN and Senate on Twitter

Priorities 2016-17

The Cancer Taskforce report set out an ambition to support the design and set-up of Cancer Alliances in alignment with local Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs)

Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships were established to ensure health and care services are built around the needs of local populations. Their plans set out how local services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years. Cancer Alliances will be an integral part of this process. The Cancer Alliances and STPs will work together to address variation in:

  • Cancers prevented
  • Improved early diagnosis
  • Improved patient experience
  • Improved quality of life.

Cancer Dashboard

Recommendation 1 of the Cancer Taskforce report was the development of a cancer dashboard of metrics at clinical commissioning group and provider organisation level which will be reported and reviewed regularly by Cancer Alliances. The dashboard has been developed by Public Health England and brings together all the data currently available in the system in an accessible way and will be used to transform services. 

The Cancer Alliances will use the data to ensure that a number of key areas  will be addressed to reduce variation in early diagnosis and prevention, increase the capacity within cancer diagnostics, improve patient experience and ensure that more patients have access to recovery packages.

Early Diagnosis

The national Cancer Taskforce report stipulates that patients referred for testing by a general practitioner because of symptoms or clinical judgement should either be definitively diagnosed with cancer or cancer excluded and this result should be communicated to the patient within four weeks.

The SCN will work with local providers to ensure that systems are in place to guarantee that patients are informed of a definitive diagnosis or otherwise within 28 days of referral by a general practitioner and that they are subsequently treated within the NHS constitutional operational standard of 62 days from referral.

The SCN will undertake an evaluation of the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust NICE guidelines diagnostic capacity model to report into the Alliance and inform the improvement plan.

Living with and Beyond Cancer

Though more people are surviving cancer, unfortunately this often doesn’t mean living well.  People living with cancer can have complex and very varied needs which are not necessarily currently being met. The Living with and Beyond Cancer initiative recommends the implementation of a recovery package for every patient. This includes a combination of different interventions which, when delivered together, can greatly improve the outcomes and co-ordination of care, including better and earlier identification of consequences of treatment.

The Cancer Taskforce report requires an accelerated process to be put in place to ensure patients living with and beyond cancer have access to elements of the recovery package. The recovery package ensures that support is provided to patients living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) to reduce variation.  The SCN will undertake a review across the SCN footprint to determine:

  • Current access to risk stratified follow-up for breast cancer patients
  • Health Needs Assessment models currently in use
  • Health Needs Assessment compliance levels through peer review and the national cancer patient experience survey
  • Patient treatment summary models currently in use
  • Patient treatment summary compliance levels through peer review.

Patient Experience

A cancer patient’s experience of care is fundamental from the point they first engage with the health service before their diagnosis, through to treatment and beyond. The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey (NCPES) continues to provide valuable insight into progress in cancer care and drive local quality improvements.

The SCN will review and analyse the NCPES 2015 results for the North West Coast SCN organisations and report the outcomes to the Cancer Alliance.