Published on: Wednesday 10th July 2019

The second round of a £150,000 scheme to support the early diagnosis of suspected cancers through improvements in patient care and the development of diagnostic staff and has been launched by Yorkshire Cancer Research and the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance.

Yorkshire Cancer Research – the region’s dedicated cancer charity – and the Cancer Alliance, one of 19 around the country charged with bringing health and care organisations together to transform cancer care at local level - have joined forces on a bursary scheme for radiographers and clinical endoscopists, either qualified or in training.

Both groups play an important role in obtaining images of the body’s organs and structures and using them to diagnose a range of diseases, including cancer. The scheme is offering a total of 30 applicants – 15 radiographers and the same number of endoscopists – up to a maximum of £5,000 each – to encourage excellence and innovation in diagnostic practice.

Prompt access to investigative tests and expert interpretation is vital in diagnosing cancer earlier. The 2019 bursary scheme forms part of the Cancer Alliance’s wider New Models of Care programme, which has been designed to deliver systems which speed up the diagnosis of cancer, increase the number of cancers diagnosed at an earlier stage and improve survival. Funding for this two-year scheme has been secured by the Alliance from the national Cancer Transformation Fund.

The bursary supports the ambitions set out in the recently-published NHS Long Term Plan, which include an increase in the proportion of total cancers diagnosed at stages 1 or 2 to 75 per cent by 2028, potentially saving up to 55,000 more lives each year.

Successful applicants can use their individual bursaries to support education or ongoing professional development that will improve the safety or quality of radiography or endoscopy services.

More experienced staff may also consider using the funding for service developments and improvements which champion the involvement of patients in service design, and the development of information resources that support awareness and decision-making for patients.

Mike Kirk, a Radiology Team Manager with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, was successful in the first round and has used his award to pursue greater understanding of medical law and ethics, and is looking to develop an improved pathway for patients with testicular cancer from point of referral to timely treatment of the disease.

“I am now looking to trial this pathway and potentially develop a ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer, with a potential to reduce the cancer wait from GP to clinician and diagnosis to less than one day,” said Mike.

Stuart Griffiths, Director of Research and Services at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are pleased to be working with the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance once again to deliver this important bursary scheme. Last year, funding was awarded to 14 radiographers and clinical endoscopists, helping to kick-start improvements that will ensure health professionals have the most up-to-date knowledge and skills. This is a vital part of delivering 'gold standard' care across the county.”

Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Lead with the Cancer Alliance, said: “Ensuring we have the right staff in the right place at the right time to deliver consistently high cancer care and treatment is at the heart of our ambitions to transform cancer care and services and make more cancers curable.

“This is a great development opportunity for health professionals working in cancer care and will improve the lives of those affected by cancer through effective workforce planning, development and innovation. We’re delighted to hear that those who were successful in the first round are progressing well with their work and it’s great that we are joining forces with Yorkshire Cancer Research again in announcing the second round of this exciting project.”

Applications will be accepted from reporting radiographers and clinical endoscopists meeting a number of specific criteria. They must have the support of their organisation and line manager.

Closing date is Wednesday 31st July 2019. Further information about the bursary and how to apply can be found on the Cancer Alliance website. From the original £150,000 funding pot, a total of £95,000 remains available to applicants in round two.


For further information, contact Nikki Brady, PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research, on 01423 877228, or Tracy Holmes Communications and Engagement Officer, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, on 07977 211555.

Note to Editors:

Yorkshire Cancer Research :

  • Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week.

Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire.

There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance :

  • The Cancer Alliance bring together NHS organisations; local councils; charities; community and voluntary organisations and groups; patients and others affected by cancer in a partnership to design and deliver the transformation of services and care; to reduce variations in the availability of good care and treatment; to deliver ongoing improvements in the future; to pilot innovative approaches and to share best practice.
  • Visit the website or follow the Alliance on Facebook or Twitter