The Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance
The Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance brings together clinicians and managers from health, social care and other services to transform the diagnosis, treatment and care for cancer patients. These partnerships enable care to be more effectively planned across local cancer pathways.
In 2015 an Independent Cancer Taskforce Strategy set out an ambitious vision for improving services, care and outcomes for everyone with cancer: fewer people getting cancer, more people surviving cancer, more people having a good experience of their treatment and care, whoever they are and wherever they live, and more people being supported. Cancer alliances have been set up across England to drive the change needed to achieve the taskforce’s vision.
The national NHS Long Term Plan made a huge commitment to improving cancer care, diagnosis and survival rates by 2028. You can read a summary of what is in the plan here: www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/areas-of-work/cancer/
The alliance is made up of multiple stakeholders including healthcare providers from across Kent and Medway, commissioners, hospices, patient representatives, voluntary and charitable organisations and the National Institute for Health Research. It also has strong links with neighbouring Cancer Alliances in South East London and Surrey and Sussex.
It is aligned to and working with the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership. The joint committee of CCGs for cancer is the governance forum for driving forward our collective strategy for improving cancer care and outcomes for the people of Kent and Medway (for more information on our governance, see below).
The alliance also works closely with the Kent and Medway Cancer Collaborative, which works to share best practice and develop local care pathways, and the Kent and Medway Cancer Action Partnership which works to involve local patients in the development of services. The alliance is committed to involving patients and service users in its plans to improve cancer care across the county and make sure their voices are heard.
Priorities for improvement
The alliance is focused on improving five main areas:
Prevention and screening: We want to support access to information, education and resources to support people to make choices to improve health and reduce risks of cancer. This includes: avoiding and stopping smoking, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, reducing risks from alcohol and improving access to, and uptake of screening programmes.
Earlier diagnosis: Cancer survival rates in England are higher than they have ever been, and earlier diagnosis is the key to improving survival rates further. Earlier cancer diagnoses will enable us to improve survival rates, as it means patients can receive treatment when there is a better chance of achieving a complete cure. During 2019/20 we will be:
- introducing new streamlined diagnostic pathways
- piloting a ‘vague symptom’ clinic
- implementing the new 28-day faster diagnosis standard
- reviewing the current diagnostic service provision across Kent and Medway.
Treatment and care: Working with our expert clinical tumour site specific groups (TSSGs) ensuring that appropriate access to treatment and care is available for patients across the area. This includes ensuring that specialised surgical care is available alongside modern radiotherapy and chemotherapy services.
Living with and beyond cancer: More people than ever are living with and beyond cancer. The NHS is leading the way in cancer care by recognising that quality of life outcomes are as important to people as survival. During 2019/20 we will be:
- introducing new electronic holistic needs assessments (eHNAs) and a personalised support and care plan so people’s individual needs and concerns can be identified and addressed at the earliest opportunity,
- developing ‘stratified’ pathways of care following treatment so that individuals have the most appropriate follow-up care to meet their needs.
Personalising aftercare: Putting patients more in control of their recovery is an important aspect of improving the patient experience. During 2019/20 we will be:
- developing treatment summaries for patients and their GP with information and prompts for how to seek help if new symptoms arise, and to optimise health and wellbeing,
- embedding cancer care reviews in primary care to make sure patients’ ongoing needs can be met, so that cancer and its consequences are increasingly managed as a long-term condition.
The joint committee of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for cancer brings together the clinical chairs from the CCGs across Kent and Medway to make joint decisions. It first met in March 2019 and continues to meet monthly in public. It is the publically-accountable governance forum driving forward our collective strategy for improving cancer care and outcomes.
Underneath the committee sits an executive group attended by all acute provider and commissioning chief operating officers empowered to make improvements and changes in their respective organisations. The executive group oversees the delivery group, consisting of the cancer alliance and other staff with a remit to cover performance and implementation. The delivery group coordinates and drives the detailed work of the priority programmes; the tumour site specific groups of clinicians that develop the cancer pathways; and the public and patient engagement group.
Cancer alliance newsletter
The Kent and Medway Cancer Alliance produces a newsletter to keep colleagues and stakeholders updated on the progress and transformation of cancer services across the county. Click on the links below to read our news.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org