Personalised cancer care

This report considers how a better collection and use of data can significantly improve cancer outcomes | Reform

This report finds that a more effective use of data could bring about much-needed improvements in cancer care. The new model of cancer care proposed in this paper looks at how data could be examined and used at every stage of the treatment journey, from prevention and diagnosis through to treatment and recovery. Making better use of data will not only improve cancer outcomes but will also enable the NHS to manage the disease far more effectively, now, and in the future.

The cancer dashboard, currently run by Public Health England, is an online interface for all cancer related information. Going forward, the authors recommend the dashboard  be extended to become the single point of access for cancer outcomes data in England.

Alongside an improved cancer dashboard, the report also recommends data must be shared effectively and promptly between different stakeholders to ensure patients have the best possible care experience. This is especially important in cancer care as a patient normally interacts with many different parts of the health service.

Full report: A data-driven approach to personalised cancer care | Reform

Social media boost for breast screening

More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

An NHS project using social media to improve health by boosting digital inclusion has led to a 13 per cent increase in first time attendances for breast screening in Stoke-on-Trent over four years.

The local initiative saw information about screening posted on Facebook community groups, which empowered and enabled women to make appointments by reducing their anxiety around breast examinations. It also allowed them to communicate quickly and easily with health practitioners to ask questions about the screening process.


Through this project, the North Midlands Breast Screening Service promoted their Facebook page on local community groups which their target group – women aged over 50 – regularly visited.

The screening team posted information such as patients explaining about how the screening process works and how it has affected them, and videos showing the rooms where it takes place. Posts were designed to encourage women to share them and so spread the message about the benefits and importance of screening.

The service’s Facebook page also answered questions in the group and by direct messaging, enabling women to book appointments more easily.

Full detail: More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

See also: Social media could help raise breast screening take-up | OnMedica

Cancer prevention – the East Midlands Approach

In the East Midlands Cancer Research UK and Public Health England have been working together with the Cancer Alliance, and local authorities to try to do something about preventable cancer | Public Health England

This latest Public Health Matters article looks at the work undertaken in the East Midlands around preventable cancer. The aim has been to use evidence to help the local health and social care system understand the impact of preventable cancer at a local level, and then to set an ambition for addressing the risk factors that cause cancer.

Full article at Public Health England

Boosting confidence after breast cancer

A case study showing how cancer survivors in Salisbury feel more confident and less fatigued after enhanced support to live better after cancer | via NHS England

A new breast cancer stratified follow-up pathway, to increase the support given to breast cancer survivors, was rolled out at Salisbury Hospital in 2016.

The pathway includes a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) followed by a two-hour Moving Forward group. Hosted by a Consultant and a nurse, it addresses immediate health and wellbeing concerns. Offered to everyone on the patient initiated follow up, the average rating on session usefulness is 4.45 out of five. The average self-reported confidence score is 4.65. However the support does not stop there, patients identified as requiring more support are referred to the Cancer wellbeing group.

This group meets once a week for seven weeks. Hosted by a Clinical Psychologist and Gym Instructor qualified in rehabilitation, each two hour session starts with wellbeing advice, such as finance and benefits, diet or mindfulness and ends with a suitable rehabilitation exercise session. Group members unable to participate in group exercise receive a personal rehabilitation exercise programme. Members can also access weekly swimming sessions in the hospital pool. The average satisfaction rating for the group is 4.5 out of five, while on average, members report fatigue on daily life scores reduced by one third.

Full detail at NHS England

Less than half of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer within a month of seeing a doctor, finds survey

Less than half of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer within a month of seeing a doctor, finds survey  BMJ 2018363 | k4419|  doi: | (Published 18 October 2018)|

Under 50 per cent of women with symptoms that are in common with ovarian cancer are diagnosed within one month of their first visit to a doctor, a large international survey of women with the disease has found. The results also revealed low levels of awareness of the cancer among women and delays in seeking medical help.


“This study, for the first time, provides powerful evidence of the challenges faced by women diagnosed with ovarian cancer across the world, and sets an agenda for global change,” said Anwen Jones, chief executive officer of Target Ovarian Cancer in the UK and co-chair of the study (Source: BMJ).

The full article is available to Rotherham NHS staff  here 

The role of allied health professionals (AHPs) in supporting people to live well with and beyond cancer

NHS England | October 2018 |Quick Guide: the role of allied health professionals in supporting people to live well with and beyond cancer 

Two years after the launch of AHPs into Action, NHS England have produced a quick guide intended to support health and care staff who share an interest in making faster progress in improving outcomes for people living with or beyond cancer. This includes Cancer Alliances, cancer care teams, primary care teams, provider organisations, commissioners, third sector organisations, education and research institutions, alongside AHPs and the professional bodies that represent them. This quick guide is aligned with ongoing work by NHS England to promote equality and reduce health inequalities. 

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This quick guide aims to:
1. Support the improvement of care and services for people with cancer.
2. Raise the profile of the role of AHPs in leading the design and delivery of care and
support for people affected by cancer.
3. Encourage, support and inspire AHPs to recognise their central role and to lead on this agenda.
4. Share examples of innovative AHP practice in cancer care.
5. Highlight the aspects of strategic transformation that are particularly relevant to AHPs and explain how this links to everyday AHP practice. (Source: NHS England)

Early diagnosis of cancer

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced plans for the earlier diagnosis of cancer. 


As part of the long-term plan for the NHS, a package of measures will be rolled out across the country with the aim of seeing 3 out of 4 of all cancers detected at an early stage by 2028.  The plan will:

  • overhaul screening programmes
  • provide new investment in state-of-the-art technology to transform the process of diagnosis
  • boost research and innovation

Screening programmes will be made more accessible and easier to use. They will be based on the latest breakthrough research and technology. Those at risk will be able to benefit from options including:

  • new tests for bowel cancer
  • mobile lung screening units
  • the roll-out of rapid diagnostic centres across the country with same-day testing

Full story: Government announces plans for earlier diagnosis for cancer patients