Health Service Focus

16.12.16

Boosting education to deliver better cancer outcomes

Source: NHE Nov/Dec 16

New data suggests that cancer services in more than 85% of CCGs are failing to provide adequate care for patients. But NHS Gloucestershire CCG talks to NHE's David Stevenson about how it has improved services through a county-wide improvement project.

In October, NHS England published the first set of CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework ratings for cancer, which provided a snapshot of how well different areas of the country are diagnosing, treating and supporting patients. 

Of the 209 CCGs in England, 156 were rated as ‘needs improvement’ and 24 were labelled as ‘greatest need of improvement’, but it was noted that the majority of this assessment is relative. 

The overall rating for cancer is based on four indicators or metrics: early diagnosis; one-year survival; 62-day waits after referral; and overall patient experience. However, CCGs with even one metric rated as ‘below average’ have received an overall rating ‘requires improvement’. 

But NHS Gloucestershire CCG, which received a ‘needs improvement’ rating, was recently recognised by the All Parliamentary Group for Cancer after making improvements in early diagnosis and one-year survival rates. 

Over the past two years, the CCG has worked hard to improve how GPs across the county recognise and act on the signs and symptoms of cancer, as the UK has been lagging behind other countries in terms of diagnosis and outcomes. 

This work, carried out in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, included a large-scale education programme across GP services.

A series of 17 masterclasses were held, which covered specific cancer sites and focused on refreshing awareness of red flag symptoms. Following this, a range of online resources, such as ‘top tips’ and videos, have also been developed to support GPs. 

Dr Sadaf Haque a Macmillan GP cancer facilitator working with the CCG said: “Feedback from our GPs indicates that these initiatives have helped them feel more confident in understanding what to look for, assessing clinical risk and communicating effectively with patients.”    

She added that a quality improvement project, in which all the county’s GP practices participated, was carried out. 

“This included 600 Significant Event Audits, which we used to look for improvements in clinical care around diagnosis, including picking up on signs early,” explained Dr Haque. 

“These initiatives are part of a wider clinical cancer programme in Gloucestershire, which is also looking at improving support in the community, and with thanks to funding from Macmillan Cancer Support, we have set up a new Macmillan Next Steps service in two of our localities. 

“This service comprises a team of clinical cancer specialists, who are helping people affected by breast, prostate and colorectal cancer to manage their condition through one-to-one clinics and/or group programmes.”

The team is made up of NHS professionals, including specialists in physiotherapy, radiotherapy and cancer nursing, working in the community. They provide patients with practical support and advice which can help reduce the risk of a cancer recurring and minimise the effects of fatigue, pain, fear, anxiety and depression. 

“We are really pleased that our progress in diagnosis has been recognised nationally, and we’re committed to continuing to make improvements through our clinical education programme, by streamlining hospital processes and by expanding our community support service more widely across the county over the coming months,” said Dr Haque. 

Discussing the CCG’s rating, Kathryn Hall, its associate director of clinical programmes and cancer commissioner, told NHE that while some services have struggled to meet the framework indicators, there is a lot of good practice being done nationally. 

While not disputing the need to make improvements in some areas, Hall said: “We have got to get all of the factors higher. We have a little way to go in where we want to be. But the education work is key to that.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

NMC registrations drop as Brexit drives EU staff home

25/04/2018NMC registrations drop as Brexit drives EU staff home

The number of EU nurses and midwives leaving the register increased by 29% last year, new figures have revealed. Figures from the Nursing and Mi... more >
RCN seeks views on mental health parity

25/04/2018RCN seeks views on mental health parity

The Royal College of Nursing is seeking the views of nursing staff working in mental health or delivering mental health services. The RCN wi... more >
NHS ‘on the cusp’ of great tech opportunity

24/04/2018NHS ‘on the cusp’ of great tech opportunity

The NHS is “on the cusp of a great opportunity” to accelerate the contributions of community nurses through the use of technology, acco... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

NHS long-term funding: what’s in store?

10/04/2018NHS long-term funding: what’s in store?

Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation, discusses Theresa May’s recent announcements on long-term NHS funding and considers the options available. The prime minister’s appearance in front of the Liaison Committee of the House of Commons last month has caused quite a stir in the health world and no doubt a fair amount of angst in the Treasury. This is not the first time a prime ministe... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Building a solid evidence base

18/04/2018Building a solid evidence base

Danielle Doyle of THIS Institute, co-created by the University of Cambridge and the Health Foundation, says the new organisation will dare to try... more >
Forensics v fraud

18/04/2018Forensics v fraud

Gareth Ballance, technical lead of the Forensic Computing Unit (FCU), gives a snapshot of a day in the life working for the NHS Counter Fraud Aut... more >
A personal view of NAPP’s future strategy

18/04/2018A personal view of NAPP’s future strategy

Dr Patricia Wilkie, president of the National Association for Patient Participation (N.A.P.P.), outlines her personal ambitions for the coming ye... more >
It’s all about quality data

18/04/2018It’s all about quality data

Steve Graham, eProcurement/Scan4Safety lead at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and Gillian Fox, head of the eProcurement Program... more >
Setting the reform agenda

18/04/2018Setting the reform agenda

In 2017, the National Audit Office (NAO) said the government needs to take a stronger and more integrated approach to rein in the cost of clinica... more >

interviews

Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >
Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

25/09/2017Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, knows that the health service is already a world leader when it comes to medical advances – ... more >