£60,000 Scheme Supports People To Live Better With And Beyond Their Cancer Diagnosis

A £60,000 Cancer Alliance scheme is underway to help improve the experience of cancer patients across West Yorkshire and Harrogate by helping them to manage their condition effectively at the end of treatment.

Organisations or individuals working in doctor’s surgeries or the community; in hospitals or specialist services, in voluntary and charitable organisations were invited 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 was secured by the Cancer Alliance from NHS England.

An increasing number of 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 are being used to support 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.

Applicants to the bursary scheme were 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.

To ensure equitable access to the bursary, applications were reviewed on an acute provider footprint, with a maximum of £10,000 potentially available to each area. Local system integrated working and collaboration with local partners (including voluntary sector and charitable organisations) was encouraged.

A number of hospital Trusts and charities from across the area submitted successful bids and are now in the process of delivering or developing the detail of their projects. These include seven bids for training sessions, apps and podcasts, and a collaborative bid to produce a number of videos that can be rolled-out across the whole of West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Click here for more information about the successful 2019/2020 bids.

The NHS Long Term Plan 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’.

A further round of bursary awards is planned for 2020/2021. More information about eligibility and how to apply will be posted here when details become available.

Rebecca Jowett
Rebecca Jowett
Programme Manager, Living With And Beyond Cancer , WYH Cancer Alliance
"Supported self-management is 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!”