Early cancer detection and survival to be prioritised by NHS

Monitoring one-year survival will be central to measuring progress in transforming cancer care, the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced.

Screening programmes will be overhauled and diagnosis made faster and more accurate with new state-of-the-art technology as part of a blueprint for rapidly improving cancer detection and survival the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Health and Social Care Secretary set out how the NHS will deliver on its commitments to improve early detection of cancer.

In January, the NHS Long Term Plan set the ambition for three-quarters of all cancers to be detected at an early stage and 55,000 more people surviving cancer for 5 years each year by 2028. The Implementation Framework, agreed by the NHS, provides a blueprint for how this will be achieved at a local level. The one-year metric will be used to measure progress.

Steps in the framework include:

  • a radical overhaul of screening programmes
  • new state-of-the-art technology to make diagnosis faster and more accurate
  • more investment in research and innovation
  • the roll-out of new Rapid Diagnostic Centres across the country, building on the success of a pilot scheme with Cancer Resarch UK
  • NHS England extending lung health checks, targeting areas with the lowest survival rates
  • Health Education England increasing the cancer workforce, which will lead to 400 clinical endoscopists and 300 reporting radiographers by 2021

The document sets out the framework through which each of the 300 commitments in the Long Term Plan will be delivered – including the 20 headline commitments – as well as how government will monitor and support systems at a local level.

Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care

(Interim Report) Independent Review of National Cancer Screening Programmes in England

NHS England | May 2019 | Independent Review of National Cancer Screening Programmes in England

This interim report sets out emerging findings of Professor Sir Mike Richard’s review of national cancer screening programmes in England to date.  The final report and recommendations will be published later this year. 

Independent review of national cancer screening programmes in England -Interim report of emerging findings: Professor Sir Mike Richards

Full information from NHS England

In the news:

BBC News ‘Cancer screening should be as easy as booking a flight’


Redesigning cancer screening technology

University of Leeds | April 2019 | Redesigning cancer screening technology

Engineers at the University of Leeds have developed a prototype that could reduce the cost of manufacturing an endoscope from £800000 to £40. The team’s prototype is redesigned to make the endoscope cheaper to make, it is more intuitive to operate. It also does not need sterilising between patients as in this model- a narrow silicone tube and a tiny capsule housing the camera – a part of the device can be disposed after each endoscopy. 

Their innovation also has the potential to revolutionise cancer screening in low-to-middle income countries where the cost of equipment makes screening prohibitively expensive.

Project leader Pietro Valdastri, Professor of Robotics and Autonomous Systems at Leeds, said the international consortium of engineers had had totally redesigned the endoscope which had remained largely unchanged for the last 60-plus years.

The next stage for the research team is to trial the effectiveness of the low-cost device against conventional endoscopes (Source: University of Leeds)

Read the press release in full from the University of Leeds


Independent Breast Screening Review: government response

Department of Health and Social Care | March 2019| Independent Breast Screening Review: government response
The Department of  Health and Social Care have published the government’s response to recommendations made by the Independent Breast Screening Review.

The Independent Breast Screening Review looked into an incident in the breast screening programme in England, which resulted in thousands of women aged between 68 and 71 not being invited to their final breast screening. The review published its report in December 2018.

This document sets out the government’s response to each recommendation made in the report. The government has accepted all the recommendations.

Full details from the Department of Health and Social Care

New drive to improve care and save lives

Professor Sir Mike Richards has launched a major overhaul of cancer screening as part the NHS Long Term Plan’s renewed drive to improve care and save lives | via NHS England

Early detection of cancer, while the condition is easier to treat, is central to the plan which aims to prevent tens of thousands more deaths each year. Sir Mike Richards, who was the NHS’ first cancer director and is the former CQC chief inspector of hospitals, is leading an independent review of national screening programmes.

He will recommend how they should be upgraded to ensure they remain world leading and that patients benefit from new technologies and treatments.

As part of his work, Sir Mike wants to hear views and ideas from staff, patients and other groups to inform recommendations for the future of cancer screening.

Sir Mike is seeking feedback on a number of areas including:

  • Future management, delivery and oversight of screening programmes
  • How to ensure maximum screening uptake across the country and particularly in vulnerable and minority groups
  • Opportunities for the use of AI and other technology to help with cancer screening
  • Feedback on current and future IT and equipment
  • Having the right number of staff with the right training to deliver the programmes
  • Views on what screening should look like in ten years’ time

Full story at NHS England

Diagnosing lung cancer earlier in Manchester

NHS England | January 2019 |Diagnosing lung cancer earlier in Manchester

NHS England are rolling out the Targeted Lung Health Checks programme as part of their #NHSLongTermPlan to find more cancers quicker. A pilot in Manchester has checked more than 2,500 smokers and ex-smokers.

The on-the spot-scan was received as part of a free health check-it  discovered 46 cases of cancer. Of these, 80% were early stage one and two diagnoses. The pilot quadrupled the early diagnosis rates for lung cancer in Manchester.

The scheme funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups through the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership, was rolled-out across the whole of north Manchester, an area which has the highest number of lung cancer deaths among the under-75s in England. It has proved so successful it is now being introduced across the country (Source: NHS England)

Read the full story Diagnosing lung cancer earlier in Manchester

NHS England press release: NHS to rollout lung cancer scanning trucks across the country

In the news:

Guardian NHS to screen for lung cancer in trucks in supermarket car parks

Review of national cancer screening programmes in England

This document provide details, including the terms of reference, for the review of national cancer screening programmes in England | NHS England

NHS England has published Review of national cancer screening programmes in England.  This document provides details of a review of national cancer screening programmes in England.  An interim report will be produced in April 2019 with a final report in the summer.