A £150,000 scheme to support the early diagnosis of suspected cancers through the development of specialist diagnostic staff and improved patient care is being launched today (June 12) by Yorkshire Cancer Research and the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance.
Yorkshire Cancer Research – the county’s dedicated cancer charity – and the Alliance, one of 19 around the country charged with delivering at local level the improvements in the national cancer plan, have joined forces on a bursary scheme for radiographers and clinical endoscopists, either fully qualified or in training.
Both groups play an important role in obtaining images of the body’s organs and structures and using them to diagnose a range of diseases, including cancer. The scheme will offer a total of 30 applicants – 15 radiographers and the same number of endoscopists – up to a maximum of £5,000 each – to encourage excellence and innovation in diagnostic practice.
Successful applicants can use their individual bursaries to support education or ongoing professional development that will improve the safety or quality of radiography or endoscopy services. More experienced staff may also consider using the funding for service developments and improvements which champion the involvement of patients in service design, and the development of information resources that support awareness and decision-making for patients.
Funding for this two-year scheme has been secured by the Alliance from the national Cancer Transformation Fund as part of a wide-ranging programme of improvements in cancer care across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, including early diagnosis.
Prompt access to investigative tests and expert interpretation is vital in diagnosing cancer earlier. The earlier the stage at which cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be curable. For those who do not have cancer, prompt investigation provides reassurance and prevents unnecessary worry.
Both nationally and as a system, cancer investigations place significant demands on diagnostic services and this is likely to increase. This includes imaging (in the operating and planning of the scan or investigation and the reporting of the tests for staging and treatment) pathology (testing and reporting for staging and treatment) and endoscopy.
The purpose of this bursary is to sit alongside other regional and national initiatives and support the continued development of diagnostic services and their workforce in order to meet the increasing demand for cancer investigations without negatively impacting on the diagnostic capacity available to other priority patients.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are pleased to be working with the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance to deliver this important bursary scheme. We can have a significant impact on cancer in the region by ensuring that people are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage when the chances of survival are greater. Making sure health professionals have the most up-to-date knowledge and skills is a vital part of delivering ‘gold standard’ care across the county.”
“Ensuring we have the right staff in the right place at the right time to deliver consistently high cancer care and treatment is at the heart of our ambitions to transform cancer care and services and make more cancers curable,” said Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Lead with the WYH Cancer Alliance.
“This is a great development opportunity for health professionals working in cancer care and will improve the lives of those affected by cancer through effective workforce planning, development and innovation. We’re delighted to be joining forces with Yorkshire Cancer Research on this exciting project.”
Further information about the bursary and how to apply can be found at https://bit.ly/2y0iwCR.
For further information, contact Nikki Brady, PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research, on 01423 877228, or Tracy Holmes, Communications and Engagement Officer, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, on 07977 211555.
Notes to Editors
- Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
- We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
- Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
- Current statistics show that 575 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
- We aim to:
- Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
- Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
- Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
- Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
- Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.
- For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.