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

NHS race equality improving, but ‘hard work still ahead’

14/12/2017NHS race equality improving, but ‘hard work still ahead’

Race equality in the NHS workforce has improved over the past year, but officials agree that there is still a lot more to be done. NHS Engla... more >
Workforce strategy: DH has ‘turned on all the taps’, but can still do more

13/12/2017Workforce strategy: DH has ‘turned on all the taps’, but can still do more

Health Education England (HEE) has released a draft of its 10-year workforce strategy which is looking to create a long-term staffing p... more >
London trust fined after worker is killed by liquid nitrogen

13/12/2017London trust fined after worker is killed by liquid nitrogen

The death of a worker who was asphyxiated by liquid nitrogen in London in 2011 could have been prevented, says the Health and Safety Executive (H... 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

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

Terry John, co-chair of the BMA & BDA Refugee Doctors and Dentists Liaison Group and chair of the union’s international committee, talks about a brilliant initiative that is proving mut... more > more last word articles >
681 149x260 NHE Subscribe button

the scalpel's daily blog

Ten lessons to support new care models locally

29/11/2017Ten lessons to support new care models locally

Anna Starling, policy fellow at the Health Foundation, offers the top 10 lessons for local leaders seeking to make systematic improvements across services, all based on first-hand accounts from vanguard officials. Redesigning health and social care services across traditional boundaries is not easy. Making change in complex environments, with differing professional viewpoints and varying organisational priorities while getting on with t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

Strategic investment planning

13/12/2017Strategic investment planning

Paul Turton, head of solutions development at NHS Supply Chain, looks at how trusts can unlock investment in medical equipment to alleviate finan... more >
A fight worth fighting

13/12/2017A fight worth fighting

Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), laments the current lack of public understanding about severe me... more >
Developing a wellness workforce

13/12/2017Developing a wellness workforce

The entire health and care sector needs to come together to prepare for a shift towards health creation, writes Merron Simpson, chief executive o... more >
The future of the nursing workforce: what next?

13/12/2017The future of the nursing workforce: what next?

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), argues that the evidence of the importance of prioriti... more >
Strategic commissioning: what the future holds

13/12/2017Strategic commissioning: what the future holds

Julie Wood, chief executive of NHS Clinical Commissioners, looks at how the clinical commissioning landscape will change in the future after havi... more >

interviews

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 >
Improving care at the touch of a screen

08/08/2017Improving care at the touch of a screen

When it comes to dementia, having a calm and safe environment can have a substantial impact on a patient’s quality of life. NHE’s Jos... more >