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"I'm the CCG lead for Cancer, my aim is to improve cancer outcomes by making sure cancers are diagnosed promptly, services are compliant with national guidance and care is delivered in the right place". 

Dr Peter Holloway, GP and Clinical Lead for Cancer

Improving Outcomes:

A Strategy for Cancer published in 2010 set out the national strategy for cancer and set the following challenges:

  • Reduce the incidence of cancers which are preventable, by lifestyle changes
  • Improve access to screening for all groups and introduce new screening programmes where there is evidence they will save lives
  • Achieve earlier diagnosis of cancer, to increase the scope for successful treatment – diagnosis of cancer at a later stage is generally agreed to be the single most important reason for the lower survival rates in England. Make sure that all patients have access to the best possible treatment.

Other challenges, in addition to the delivery of improved survival and mortality rates, in particular:

  • Many patients live with and beyond cancer for long periods of time, and we need to ensure that everything is done to allow them to live as healthy a life as possible for as long as possible
  • There are variations in patients’ experience of care, and we need to make sure that feedback on patient experience informs the design and delivery of services so they reflect what is important to all patients
  • Inequalities in cancer mean that some groups in society have disproportionately poor outcomes.

The Ipswich and East Suffolk Cancer Services Locality Group, which consists of local cancer services providers, local and national cancer charities, CCG and public health representatives, as well as cancer service users works to implement the national strategy at a local level.

We work closely with the Anglia Cancer Network, which is responsible for co-ordinating cancer care across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and North Bedfordshire in order to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and that outcomes can improve.

Local projects include:

  • Transforming Community Cancer Services, which will pilot Community Cancer Nurses to ensure that the survivorship needs of cancer patients are met within primary care.
  • Direct Access to Diagnostic project at Ipswich Hospital
  • The appointment of a Macmillan GP Facilitator who will be leading the Local Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative.


The cancer programme

The cancer programme will commission cancer services to improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

All cancer services will be compliant with the relevant Improving Outcomes Guidance (IOG), including pathology testing of haematological malignancy, liver metastases, cancer of unknown primary and psychological support services, with compliance measured via the cancer peer review process against the Manual for Cancer Services. Performance against the cancer waiting times operating standards will be achieved.

The cancer programme will undertake the following work streams:

Primary care cancer nurse pilots:

  • review the outcomes of the primary care cancer nurse pilots
  • support for cancer patients will be provided within the community in order to meet their assessed survivorship and rehabilitation needs
  • new models of follow up for cancer patients will be implemented based on risk stratification, with an associated reduction in hospital follow ups achieved
  • each patient completing an acute phase of treatment for cancer will be offered an individualised plan for follow up including:

                - access to a supported self-management programme

                - having their needs holistically assessed

                - an end of treatment care plan agreed

                - an end of treatment summary provided

Cancer services:

  • cancer bed days reduced through the continuation of services such as the acute oncology service, working to prevent emergency admissions and ensuring enhanced recovery programmes offered to all eligible patients
  • earlier diagnosis of cancer supported by improving access to the right diagnostic tests and examination of the role of diagnostics within the two week wait pathway
  • all chemotherapy will be prescribed via an e-prescribing system and be in line with the relevant tumour specific Anglia Cancer Network agreed chemotherapy regimens and algorithms
  • information needs of patients will be met via the use of information prescriptions to ensure patients are able to access up to date information about their cancer and its treatment and that providers are able to evidence that this information has been offered
  • cancer services will actively engage with relevant user groups to enhance service design and patient experience
  • review of the deployment and activities of the Macmillan service
  • head and neck cancer patients will be able to access IOG compliant rehabilitation services
  • teenage and young adult cancer patients (aged 16-24) treated in specialised designated hospitals and benefiting from age appropriate care
  • all children with cancer should have access to psychological support, rehabilitation and community nursing if required
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