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 London Procurement Partnership working to support NHS

09/04/2020NHS London Procurement Partnership working to support NHS

NHS London Procurement Partnership (NHS LPP) is one of a number of organisations and bodies diligently working behind the scenes to support ... more >
Skills for Health, NHS Professionals support urgent training needs

09/04/2020Skills for Health, NHS Professionals support urgent training needs

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has necessitated significant efforts from across our healthcare service, with an increasing demand on frontline ... more >
NHSX partnering with tech firms to help isolated people stay connected

09/04/2020NHSX partnering with tech firms to help isolated people stay connected

With the ongoing coronavirus outbreak demanding strict social distancing, particularly from those in the most at-risk categories, it can be a par... 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

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us th... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Why social prescribing is the future of healthcare

01/04/2020Why social prescribing is the future of healthcare

Jennifer Jones-Rigby, COO at Health Exchange, a social enterprise seeking to shape the design and development of health and wellbeing services in a way that will enable everyone to have the capacity and confidence to choose positive health and wellbeing. The medical profession is often overstretched, with too many resources used for preventable conditions. As such, the national health service is under increased pressure t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental health and wellbeing. As the best rugby players in the world repr... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >
Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

10/06/2019Helpforce to launch training programmes for NHS volunteers

Kay Fawcett OBE, clinical advisor and education lead at Helpforce, and Lynn Twinn, talent development consultant, outline the new national traini... more >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual conference, Matt Hancock highlighted what he believes to be the three... more >
NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took steps towards her midwifery dreams. Lisa Payne has been delivering ... more >
How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
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 >