National cancer experts will meet in Yorkshire today (Wednesday, March 29) to determine how charity funds can be used to improve the experience of cancer patients living in the region.
The event, organised by Yorkshire Cancer Research and held at the charity’s headquarters in Harrogate, will bring together leading figures in cancer survivorship, an area that encompasses a wide range of holistic issues faced by patients following diagnosis.
There are currently about 190,000 people in Yorkshire living with or beyond a diagnosis of cancer, and this number is expected to reach as many as 295,000 people by 2030 1.
With the number of people surviving cancer continuing to rise, the physical, emotional and social needs of patients and their families have become a growing focus for healthcare providers.
Key opinion leaders, researchers, healthcare professionals and members of regional Cancer Alliances* will meet to determine priority areas for funding and discuss practical solutions that will improve support and care in Yorkshire.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Interim Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “As part of our new strategy to save 2,000 more lives in Yorkshire every year by 2025, we want to help people who are living with and beyond cancer to have the best quality of life, prevent recurrence and be the best informed so that they can make the best decisions.
“There are significant variations in the experiences reported by patients in Yorkshire, and survival statistics also show inequalities between different areas. By fully understanding the patient experience, we can improve quality of life and in turn have a substantial impact on cancer outcomes.”
Healthcare providers are required to provide a Recovery Package to all cancer patients, including information and guidance on topics such as follow-up care, diet and exercise, financial advice, employment and emotional support. However, a 2015 investigation by a Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Clinical Network found that only three of the 17 CCGs in Yorkshire and the Humber that responded provided full packages for their patients 2. Despite recent improvements, variation still exists across the region in ensuring the delivery of all parts of the Recovery Package to all patients.
Following the workshop, researchers from across the UK will be invited to apply for funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research, which has committed to investing £8m in three priority areas: improving cancer survivorship, increasing early diagnosis and bringing more clinical trials to the region. The successful projects will be announced in January 2018.
Areas of research related to cancer survivorship include the psychological impact of cancer, coping with treatment side effects and improving access to palliative care, including pain management. It also includes research into lifestyle issues such as diet and weight management which can aid recovery and prevent recurrence.
The meeting will be chaired by Claire Foster, Professor of Psychosocial Oncology and Director of Macmillan Survivorship Research Group.
She said: “Yorkshire Cancer Research’s commitment to allocate funding to improve the lives of people in Yorkshire living with and beyond cancer is very welcome. This workshop will identify priority areas for research to improve outcomes and experiences and reduce the impact of cancer and its treatment on the lives of people in Yorkshire. Research in this area will provide the evidence needed to improve services and resources for those affected by cancer.”
* Cancer Alliances bring together local senior clinical and managerial leaders representing the whole cancer patient pathway. Together with the National Cancer Vanguard, they will lead the local delivery of the Independent Cancer Taskforce’s ambitions for improving services, care and outcomes for everyone with cancer. For more information visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/cancer/strategy/alliance-guidance/
1. Local Cancer Intelligence, Cancer Prevalence, http://lci.cancertoolkit.co.uk/Prevalence
2.NHS, Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Clinical Networks, Commissioning Living with and Beyond Cancer in Yorkshire and Humber; an Overview, 2015, http://www.yhscn.nhs.uk/media/PDFs/cancer/2015%2011%2023%20LWBC%20Report%20FINAL.pdf
Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: email@example.com
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.