Published on: Monday 22nd July 2019

£60,000 Scheme Supports People To Live Better

With And Beyond A Cancer Diagnosis

A £60,000 scheme to improve the experience of cancer patients across West Yorkshire and Harrogate and to help them manage their condition more effectively at the end of treatment has been launched today (15th July).

Organisations or individuals working in doctor’s surgeries or the community; in hospitals or specialist services, in voluntary and charitable organisations could be eligible to apply for one of six grants (or ‘bursaries’) up to a total of £10,000 each to help patients properly prepare for the end of the treatment phase of their cancer journey.

The funding has been secured from NHS England by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, one of 19 Alliances around the country. It brings together NHS organisations; local councils; charities; community and voluntary organisations and groups, patients and carers to transform cancer services, reduce unacceptable variations and to pilot innovations in care and treatment.

More and more people are surviving longer beyond their initial cancer diagnosis and treatment and are moving into ‘supported self management’ - a model of care where patients are helped to manage the impact of their condition closer to home, with access to clinical teams when they need it and with the right education and support.

The bursaries will be used to help the development of education and information to ensure that patients feel confident and supported to embark on supported self-management, to manage the potential longer-term mental and physical consequences of their cancer and treatment, and to adopt a healthy lifestyle which supports their overall health and wellbeing.

The NHS Long Term Plan – published in January – endorses the move to supported self-management, and the improved patient experience that can come from replacing unnecessary hospital visits and outpatient appointments, where safe and appropriate, with access to support services closer to home in their local community.

The plan states: ‘After treatment patients will move to a follow-up pathway that suits their needs and ensures they get rapid access to clinical support where they are worried that their cancer may have recurred’ (insert specific page reference).

The cancer plan for West Yorkshire and Harrogate sets out the ambition for an increase in the number of patients on supported self-management, where deemed clinically appropriate. While currently focused on three priority cancer sites – breast, prostate and colorectal (bowel) – the Alliance has the same ambition for all cancers.

Applicants to the bursary scheme will be required to clearly demonstrate how their use of funding will increase patient knowledge; improve patient experience; increase the numbers of patients on supported self-management and support the sharing of best practice across other organisations, health and care professionals.

Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Lead for the Cancer Alliance, said supported self-management was an important element in delivering the Cancer Alliance ambition to wrap cancer care and services around individual patients. “Many patients tell us that when the intensity of their treatment period comes to an end, they often feel as though they have fallen off a cliff, and have neither the confidence nor the support necessary to move on with their lives and to manage the impact of their cancer like any other long term condition.

“Equally, it isn’t in their interest to keep returning to hospital for unnecessary follow-ups when what they need can be managed through other support and organisations closer to home. This bursary will help organisations to think more creatively and innovatively about what support they could provide to ensure this happens. We’re excited to see the results!”

Closing date for applications is 12 noon, Monday 19th August 2019.

Click here to read detailed information about the bursary scheme, and to access the application form.