Our strategic objectives for 2023/2024 are:

We will improve our understanding and our response of the diverse needs of people affected by cancer, using a holistic, whole person approach, both in terms of how we think and how we operate:

Key areas of work in the delivery of this objective during 2022/2023 included:

Learn more about our Patient Experience Strategy and Improvement Group

Read more about how to get involved in the work of the Cancer Alliance

We work with our partners to prevent, find, diagnose, and treat more people affected by cancer.  We will measure what we do and develop the right clinical networks and relationships to achieve shared goals.

Key areas of work in the delivery of this objective during 2022/2023 included:

  • Continuing to develop our network of Optimal Pathway Groups, bringing together all relevant stakeholders, from clinicians, managers, commissioners, primary care, patient representatives, and voluntary sector colleagues, to ensure a ‘whole person’ approach to improvement
  • Encouraging the expansion of clinical audit processes reporting for knowledge transfer. This is about carrying out audits on clinical processes and then sharing the findings to help improve processes across the region and share best practice
  • Expanding relationships with linked operational delivery networks (ODNs) and other partners in the clinical and professional directorate of the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, where there may be opportunities to work together across disease-based specialisms
  • Establishing a new focus on nursing and allied health professional leadership as a key focus of our activities in the Cancer Alliance senior management team.
  • Creating a systematic review of the impact of our programmes, particularly on improvements to access to care and curative treatments
  • Continuing to maintain relationships with partners in the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts, to ensure that the needs of cancer patients are understood in the development of community diagnostic centre infrastructures. Community diagnostic centres are a new development where additional diagnostic equipment/services such as scanners are sited in accessible places, with the aim of creating more diagnostic capacity.
  • Continuing to work with our Cancer Alliance cross-cutting forums, covering a range of issues rather than a focus on one individual cancer, to ensure appropriate focus on performance, access and recovery

Read more about our Optimal Pathway Groups

Build stronger and more robust partnerships to help make a positive difference to the inequalities in access, care, and outcomes faced by different groups of people affected by cancer. 

Key areas of work in the delivery of this objective during 2022/2023 included:

  • Continuing to support the Cancer SMART programme to encourage awareness and understanding of cancer messages in vulnerable and seldom-heard communities
  • Our Primary Care Facilitator team creating a network with social prescribers and local champions to ensure that there is full awareness of cancer referral pathways in a primary care setting. Also, working to ensure that primary care teams use registers for effective case finding, personalised care, and cancer care reviews
  • Examining and acting on the barriers to cancer screening access for vulnerable groups in society.  This will include using the power of community advocacy to improve take up of the bowel, breast and cervical programmes, alongside targeted lung health checks
  • Supporting partnership working opportunities with our Hepatitis C Operational Delivery Network to support improved surveillance and case finding for patients affected by cancer
  • Building support with the genetic testing community to ensure people with predisposition to cancer diagnoses have appropriate access to care.
  • Building awareness of rarer cancer symptoms and reviewing the support structures which are available.

Learn more about our work with the Yorkshire Cancer Community and the Cancer SMART programme

Read more about our broader Healthy Communities programme

Encourage the adoption of innovative care practices and new models of working to deliver benefits to patients and to the wider cancer workforce. This includes supporting the delivery of the NHS Cancer Programme’s strategic approach to the faster diagnosis of cancer:

Key areas of work in delivering this objective during 2022/2023 included

  • Acceleration of the service evaluation of the PinPoint blood test, in collaboration with PinPoint Data Science and Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber. Working towards meeting the threshold for cancers diagnosed as part of the PinPoint service evaluation, starting with breast cancer, and bringing all Trusts and primary care systems on board as work progresses towards national deployment of this innovative technology
  • Announcement and delivery of the Cancer Alliance local innovation award scheme working in collaboration with the Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber, formerly Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), with a focus on workforce innovations.
  • Delivery of a national Cytosponge pilot for reflux patients and those on Barrett’s Oesophagus surveillance lists
  • Delivery of national and local Colon Capsule Endoscopy pilots, an alternative investigation to colonoscopy (FIT result dependent) open to patients who are under polyp surveillance 
  • Development of academy models in diagnostics work and delivery of new workforce models, including Advanced Clinical Practitioners in non-surgical oncology
  • Capacity and demand modelling in radiology, leading to improved workforce skill mix and more effective use of resources
  • Local innovation activity through the Service Improvement Lead network in NHS Trusts across West Yorkshire and Harrogate
  • Cancer Pathway Care Navigator models

We will sustain and further build our integrated, happy and successful team in the Cancer Alliance.

This objective encompasses organisational development along with a range of training and personal development activities, and is overseen by our Programme Director and Deputy Director.


Our top five strategic priorities for 2023/2024 are:

Our work in terms of supported screening uptake will include:

  • Expansion of targeted lung health checks to the remaining population in Bradford and also into Wakefield in 2024, including the potential for kidney cancer screening and oral cavity checks as part of this work. 2023/2024 is also planned as the transition year  from the Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial to a targeted lung health check programme in Leeds.
  • Focus on supporting cancer screening uptake amongst the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities across West Yorkshire, recognising the barriers faced by these groups. This will build on work supporting uptake amongst South Asian women and the continuing work of our partners, the Yorkshire Cancer Community. The Cancer Alliance now has an annual cycle of screening awareness campaigns which it both supports and in some cases runs, supported by the work of our primary care network facilitator team.
  • Development of a specific place-based innovation competition to allow for targeted action in this area of work, including building on the roles of cancer care coordinators and taking advantage of technological innovations such as Appt-Health and preparing the system for the asymptomatic screening programme – NHS Galleri - from 2024.

Our work in terms of non-surgical oncology (NSO) will include:

  • Completion of targeted public engagement work focussing on protected characteristic groups and communities (including people not affected by cancer at this time), who have an important stake and viewpoint in the improvement of non-surgical oncology services.
  • Support for workforce innovation via the ACCEND programme and the international recruitment initiative, being supported by the Global Partnerships team and colleagues in NHS England (North-East and Yorkshire).
  • Continued staff engagement, using a sector-based model and approach across key elements of the new model, including acute oncology reform, improvement of chemotherapy prescribing systems, and more activity being provided locally, where possible.

Our work in terms of FIT, will include:

  • Implementation of a system wide care algorithm, improving and creating consistency of approach in the management of patients with unexplained abdominal symptoms, presenting to primary care. This will be based on an Alliance-wide pathway, which aligns with the recently published draft guidance (for consultation) from NICE.
  • Developing the role of pathway navigators and educational resources to support patients who may help to complete the test. 
  • Working with partners in the acute provider collaborative, endoscopy network and others, support the expansion of the bowel cancer screening eligibility age and the expected reduction in the positivity threshold for cancer referral, expected in future years.

Our work in terms of the Faster Diagnosis Standard will include:

  • Supporting the next phase of the breast resilience project, to improve the management of the pathway at the referral stage.
  • Incorporating tele-dermatology rollout into a wider review of the skin pathway and the steps required to support pathway sustainability.
  • Expanding from the remit of FIT testing to examine and support action on the other causes of pathway breaches, which also impact on 62 day performance in lower gastrointestinal services.

Our work in terms of broadening our innovation portfolio will include:

  • Creating opportunities to share the learning from year one (2021/2022) and year two (2022/2023) Cancer Alliance innovation competitions. This will also include sharing best practice from neighbouring geographies where known, working with our colleagues in the Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber.
  • Developing a specific innovation competition to support the objectives of the living with and beyond cancer programme, aimed at the voluntary, community, social enterprise and faith (VCSEF) sector, particularly in terms of care navigation, support, and effective signposting.
  • Conclude the initial service evaluation with PinPoint, creating a pathway to adoption (if successful), and also maintaining our oversight of other areas of focus including colon capsule endoscopy; cytosponge; tele-dermatology; SBRI collaborations; and workforce innovation.