How are we performing when it comes to cancer services
The overall objective of the Cancer Alliance is to transform services and improve care, treatment and support for those affected by cancer in West Yorkshire and in Harrogate. As outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan, our priorities are:
The CCGs supports national educational and promotional campaigns including stopping smoking and increasing the uptake of screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancer screening programmes. In order to increase screening uptake, the CCGs are part of the NHS England-led screening group which looks at introducing best practice to encourage uptake of the screening programmes in primary care and determining how we can work closely with our communities to support screening uptake especially as this has historically been a challenge locally. In particular, our area has low uptake rates for Bowel Cancer screening. Yorkshire Cancer Research is providing funding for an initiative to improve this by contacting non-responders directly and discussing any issues they may have with the screening process.
We have secured additional funding for multi-diagnostic clinics to enable people with vague but concerning symptoms to have an identified fast track route into the hospital. We have also introduced tests such as the fecal immunochemical test (FIT a screening test for colon cancer), to allow GPs to make more appropriate referrals and ease pressures on our hospitals.
Local service developments include the Acceleration, Co-ordination and Evaluation programme (ACE) which is now in its third year these ACE provides Multi-Diagnostic Clinics which are nationally recognised and working well to enable people with vague but concerning symptoms to have an identified fast track route into hospital. A mobile chemotherapy vehicle was introduced over the summer of 2018 to deliver chemotherapy to those who live in the more rural parts of Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven. A pilot initiative to target individuals at risk of lung cancer and offer lung health checks, low dose CT scan as well as smoking cessation advice is being funded by the Cancer Alliance in Bradford and aims to diagnose cancers earlier when there is a better chance for effective treatment. Together with Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Support Yorkshire we are working to improve the experience of patients living with and beyond cancer and provide individually tailored support packages which may include counselling, financial advice or exercise programmes.
Two stars - similar to the English average. Diagnosing cancer at an early stage is important, however only half of all cancer cases are diagnosed early. This result is about the same as across England.
Work is ongoing to improve engagement with the national screening programmes for bowel, cervical and breast cancer. The CCG has partnered with several charitable organisations such as Cancer Research UK and Yorkshire Cancer Research to promote knowledge of cancer symptoms within our population as well as practical steps to reduce the risk of cancer.
Three stars - better than the English average. 73.1% (3/4) of people with cancer survive beyond the first year. This result is higher than seen across England.
The CCGs are working with public health to improve the general health of our population, meaning individuals are in a better position should they develop cancer. We can further improve our survival rates by catching cancer earlier and making treatment pathways as effective as possible.
Two stars – similar to the English average. 8 out of 10 people referred with an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer received first treatment within 62 days. We recognise that this needs to improve.
Whilst diagnosis at an early stage is also improving, performance against the national cancer waiting times standards can sometimes be challenging. For Airedale NHS Foundation Trust access in general is above national standards, but cancer treatment pathways can be very specialised and cross numerous acute hospital trusts. Cross organisational work between different hospital sites has continued, in particular with Inter-Provider-Transfers, to ensure patient flow is streamlined and well timed to meet the national 62 day waiting time standard.
One star - worse than the English average. The average overall score was 8.7 on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 10 (very good). This result is lower than the England average and we recognise that this needs to improve.
Work is still being undertaken to improve patient experience. Regionally additional transformation funding has been secured to support people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis and to improve access to the four elements of the Recovery Package (a holistic needs assessment and care plan; a treatment summary; a cancer care review and access to health and wellbeing events).
Living with and Beyond Cancer is a key aspect of the NHS Long Term Plan and we are working with voluntary and community sector partners to deliver the best range of support for our patients.
Rating will be added soon.
Work is ongoing to improve the quality of cancer related referrals using the urgent referral two week wait pathways. This includes strengthening criteria and using the Assist tool to improve adherence to pathways and ensure all relevant information is captured in the referral in order that patients are seen within the most appropriate service in a timely manner.