Every week, 250 people in West Yorkshire and Harrogate are diagnosed with cancer. 115 people die because of the condition. Despite some improvements, outcomes continue to be poorer in disadvantaged communities, and our system continues to tackle the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We also know that the cancer challenge will continue to progress as a key population health need in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. One in two people born after 1960 are expected be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lifetime, whilst four out of every ten cancers diagnosed are avoidable based on changes to lifestyle.
This stark context which explains why the work of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance is so important.
Through our work as part of the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, the wider West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and our collaborative endeavours to deliver the strategic early diagnosis and survival goals set out in the national cancer strategy, we are proud to be able to bring local partners together to transform outcomes. Overall, we do our best work when we create new opportunities for collaboration and innovation which were not previously thought to exist.
Our focus is equally broad ranging. Our important work spans the entirety of the care pathway, from action on screening, prevention, and public health initiatives; through achieving earlier diagnosis and promoting innovation in care; and delivering better, personalised care, including at the end of life.
What matters to us is not just what we do, but how we operate.
Our purpose is to bring local partners together to deliver better outcomes for people affected by cancer - both in terms of clinical outcomes and also the overall patient experience.
Our ambition is to transform services so that cancer care, treatment and support is wrapped around each individual patient throughout their entire cancer journey – from awaiting and receiving diagnosis, to treatment options, to discharge where appropriate, end of life care where needed, living with and beyond cancer.
- Breaking down artificial boundaries between organisations. These are irrelevant to people affected by cancer.
- Addressing the health inequalities faced by those affected and how they impact on their care and treatment.
- Encouraging collaboration by all organisations involved in the funding and delivery of NHS cancer care and services.
- Being willing to take managed risks, with our partners, where new ways of thinking could transform care and outcomes.
- Acting in partnership across local areas so that cancer care, treatment and support are properly identified and prioritised in each local plan. We will help to make this happen and promote the sharing of best practice.
- Working hand-in-hand with other programmes of work and organisations that are relevant to the co-ordination and delivery of cancer care across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, for the benefit of those affected by the condition.
- We will listen to the lived experiences of people affected by cancer to inform our local priorities for improvement and how we work with others to make change happen.
- We commit to ensuring that as far as possible, local plans for cancer reflect the needs of local people, taking a 'whole person' view on what is important to people affected by cancer.
- We will continue to champion the role of our colleagues working in cancer care and services and will advocate for them, including in relation to the necessary investment in supply, training, retention and role transformation.
- Looking after our Cancer Alliance team, maintaning a healthy workplace, culture, and environment, so that our colleagues can be supported to achieve their best for the people they serve.
We take our values seriously – we focus on doing what’s right, not always making the easiest choice.
Our values define who we are, how we approach difficult decisions, and how we choose to work with others. We believe we should be held to account for them.
Our values operate within and are complimentary to those developed by the ICB. We will always focus on:
When we take a difficult decision, we will always do so thinking about what it is like to be a person affected by cancer in West Yorkshire and Harrogate and how we can close the gap between those patients with the best outcomes and those whose outcomes are less positive.
We will build, retain and develop a dynamic team of people who both care for each other and represent the ambitions of the people we serve.
Being Honest and Driven
We will always strive to do better, but we will always be honest about what it is possible to achieve, within the resources we have available.
Being Role Models for Effective Collaboration
We will always strive to build stronger partnerships between local organisations invested in delivering better cancer care, for the benefit of local people, and in accordance with NHS values.