Through effective partnership working, the Optimal Pathway Groups aim to ensure co-ordination and reduce unwarranted variation in outcomes - from prevention, to diagnosis and treatment, to living with and beyond cancer.

They work to identify and deliver consistency of clinical practice to achieve the best possible outcomes and experience for patients living with and beyond cancer in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate, irrespective of where they live and where their treatment and care is provided.

There are currently ten tumour site-specific Optimal Pathway Groups, often referred to as OPGs. These are:

Picture of Sam and DannyEach OPG is led by a Clinical Director (some with a Vice Chair) and has an agreed work programme. The groups meet three times a year, culminating in an educational event, where shared learning and best practice is presented to a wider networked audience.                                 

The main purpose of the OPGs is to drive improvement in outcomes, patient experience and operational performance across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. The OPGs bring together all relevant stakeholders, from clinicians, managers, commissioners, primary care, patient representatives, and voluntary sector colleagues, to ensure a holistic approach to improvement. 

The OPGs act as the main source of expert clinical opinion on cancers and provide advice to relevant Boards & partners across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

Their functions include, but are not restricted to: 

  • Identifying and raising awareness of population needs, reviewing clinical outcome and performance data identifying and addressing unwarranted variation
  • Service monitoring - clinical performance and clinical outcomes 
  • Drive innovation, improvement and collaborate to share and spread the adoption of good practice.
  • Maintaining updated guidelines  
  • Workforce development and capacity planning
  • Research, education, and development
  • Patient experience and co-production 

The Optimal Pathways Programme Manager is Ingrid Ablett-Spence.

For all general enquiries or information relating to the Optimal Pathway Groups, please email