Publish date: 31 August 2023

Cancer Alliance unveils its annual funding competition for innovation in cancer care 

Innovative projects that promote early cancer diagnosis and better care can benefit from more than £1.7m worth of funding from West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance.

Building on the success of last year, the Cancer Alliance has announced the launch of its innovation competition 2023/24 in collaboration with Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber.

The financial awards scheme promotes innovation in cancer and services to improve early diagnosis and patient experience, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.

And this year it has widened its scope to include voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, as well as making patient education bursaries available.

The four streams are:

  • Acute Trusts
  • Place based innovation
  • Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE)
  • Patient education bursary

Mark Dean, Innovation Project Manager at West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, said: “We are excited to have widened the competition this year and are looking forward to receiving applications from a wide range of organisations with one common purpose – to improve cancer care and early diagnosis.

“We are keen to support projects which have a particular focus, for example initiatives that target the 20% most deprived populations who experience health inequalities or collaboration with other organisations, such as Yorkshire Cancer Research in supporting projects.”

Now in its third year, previous successful recipients include an initiative in Bradford and Craven to improve take-up rates of cervical screening amongst women with learning disabilities.

Rates are currently low with just 30% of women with learning disabilities taking the test in the area.

Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership used its award to upskill primary care staff with specialist knowledge and understanding of learning disability requirements; review and develop IT systems and pathways and educate the person, family and carers on the importance of having a cervical screen and develop a range of useful, easy read resources and materials.

Another successful recipient, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, used its funding to develop and formalise the current project of the Thinking Ahead Programme (TAP).

TAP is a collaborative programme currently delivered across three Trusts in the Cancer Alliance’s area, which enhances patient experience and supports earlier planning around end of life.

The competition will open on 31st August, followed by a six-week period for development of proposals and completion of applications, with a closing date of 13th October for all schemes.

The assessment process will take place in late October with awards being made in early November.

For more information, contact Mark Dean at or to apply, visit our innovation competition information page