Five NHS Hospital Trusts Share £4.5 Million To Transform Services

Our Cancer Alliance has established a Capacity for System Change Fund following a successful bid for national monies to transform services and allow people to be seen more quickly, have faster access to diagnostic testing and find out earlier whether or not they have a cancer diagnosis. This will improve their chances of survival.

A total of £4.5 million has so far been shared across five NHS hospital Trusts to fund 10 projects. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (in partnership with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust); Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, based in Wakefield, and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust each put forward a case for how their proposed changes would benefit patients. Each will now work in conjunction with their partners in other parts of the health and care system, such as GP practices, to deliver the changes.

The 10 initial Capacity For System Change bids include:

  • Proposals that will help people with worrying symptoms to gain faster access to specialist testing, such as radiology (Mid Yorkshire)
  • Leeds city-wide roll-out of their Accelerate, Co-ordinate and Evaluate (ACE) pilot scheme to develop new pathways for patients with vague but concerning symptoms
  • A pilot scheme to secure access to the Faeco Immunochemical Test(FIT) for patients who present in GP surgeries with unexplained symptoms and who may not necessarily be referred for a potential colorectal cancer diagnosis in hospital (Bradford)
  • The use of hi-resolution cameras in GP surgeries to diagnose suspected skin cancers, allowing GPs immediate access to specialist skin doctors, avoiding unnecessary hospital visits for people (Leeds)
  • Workforce development proposals – enhancing the skills of staff groups such as pathology practitioners and endoscopists to undertake more specialist work, addressing shortages in staffing and enabling patients to move more quickly through the diagnostic phase of their treatment (Leeds and Harrogate)

Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Director and Cancer Alliance Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate, said: ‘This is fantastic news for patients. Faster and better diagnosis can be lifesaving and the use of evidence based medicine and clinical research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients is a priority.

“We will also be making the most of learning from other areas who have led on this important area of work. All of this will give us the opportunity to tackle the big cancer issues together across health and social care services which will ultimately improve life chances for people living in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.’

Rob Webster, Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP, said: ‘This is a great example of what can be achieved when organisations work together. STPs are central to this process. They give us the opportunity to tackle big health and social issues, such as cancer, and to work across organisations to come up with better solutions. “

The WYH Cancer Alliance has so far secured a total of £12.4million from the national Cancer Transformation Fund to support improvements in early diagnosis and make more cancers curable through a range of projects and interventions. The Capacity for System Change Fund is one of those initiatives.