Early Diagnosis Work Programme

Cancer is the biggest cause of death from illness in every age group in West Yorkshire and Harrogate and will affect one in two of the population born since 1960. Around 115 people die from cancer each week in our area and the number of new cases diagnosed is increasing year on year.

Currently, 40% of cancers are diagnosed at curative stage - ie stages 1 and 2. If we achieved - for lung and colorectal cancer alone - the stage at diagnosis currently achieved by the best CCG in England, an additional 156 people would survive their cancer diagnosis for at least one year.

Screening uptake is also relatively poor across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, with a lower than average uptake of both breast, cervical and colorectal screening opportunities in many of our local areas.

A key priority for the Cancer Alliance therefore is making more cancers curable by supporting ways of achieving earlier diagnosis, promoting greater awareness of signs and symptoms and increasing the uptake of screening.

Our Cancer Alliance has so far secured a total of £12.4million from the national Cancer Transformation Fund to support this work.

Specific objectives of the Early Diagnosis work programme are:

  • To increase the number of cancers diagnosed at stages 1 and 2 from 40% to 62% by the year 2020
  • To reduce the number of cancers that are diagnosed through emergency presentation from 20% to 10% by the year 2020
  • To reduce the variation in one year survival rates between the Clinical Commissioning Group areas
  • To reduce the variation in reported patient experience

Our Early Diagnosis Work Programme includes:

    • Speeding up diagnosis - cancer or otherwise - for those patients who present with vague but concerning symptoms. In particular, this includes learning from the second wave of the Accelerate, Co-ordinate, Evaluate (ACE) programme, an NHS England initiative supported by Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK.

Click here for more information about the national ACE programme

Click here to read the Interim Report on Multidisciplinary Diagnostic Centre based pathways for patients with non specific but concerning symptoms (May 2018)

Helpful Information for Professionals - Early Diagnosis

Click here for information you may find helpful if you are a professional and/or providing care or support for a person affected by cancer, including

Gateway C - free online education resource for primary care

Posters from the NHS England national Early Diagnosis event in September 2018

GP E-learning module - Detecting Cancer in Children and Young People (Teenage Cancer Trust)

Faecal immunotherapy testing (FIT) for symptomatic patients - guidance for GPs on two-week wait and low risk


Involving Patients

The involvement of patients is fundamental to the delivery of the Cancer Alliance work programme. Each of our project groups has been asked to produce a communications and engagement plan which supports their specific business objectives and aligns with the overarching Alliance communications and engagement strategy.

They will each be supported in this work by the Patient Experience Project Group, which is looking at the development of new and innovative approaches to ensure patient experience is a driver for service improvement and is also viewed on a par with clinical outcomes.

Click here to download the strategy

Click here to find out how you can get involved with the work of the Alliance, including our Community/Patient Panel.