New measures to help more cancer patients survive 

31/03/2017 00:00 
UCLH welcomes NHS England’s announcement, made today, unveiling new measures which will help us ensure more people survive cancer thanks to better prevention, earlier diagnosis and innovative new treatments.

The range of improvements announced in the new Five Year Forward View ‘Next Steps’ Plan include:

  • patients having better access to the latest treatments, with a roll-out of the largest radiotherapy upgrade programme in 15 years, with an extra £94m to be spent on equipping hospitals with state of the art linear accelerators (LINACs).
  • patients being tested sooner with investment in greater diagnostic capacity, including 10 new Rapid Diagnostic and Assessment Centres. This will be measured through the new 28-day faster diagnosis standard which will be rolled out from April 2018.
  • personalised care and support being offered to patients during treatment and for those recovering from cancer, improving their quality of life and experience of care.

UCLH is working to deliver the objectives of this plan to improve patient care and services predominantly through our role in the national Cancer Vanguard – a unique partnership between UCLH, The Christie and The Royal Marsden.

We particularly welcome today’s announcement of new Rapid Diagnostic Assessment Centres for cancer. This is an important strand of our Vanguard work programme to transform the early diagnosis of cancer across north central and north east London, and west Essex.

Early cancer diagnosis saves lives. Cancers diagnosed early are much easier to treat successfully, yet nearly half of all cancers are currently diagnosed at a late stage. In addition, nearly one in four cancers are currently picked up through emergency admission and there is evidence that patients diagnosed via this route have lower chances of survival. 

A variety of new models to provide quicker access to testing, to rule out cancer and provide a definite diagnosis for the patient and their GP are being piloted across London. UCLH opened the first multidisciplinary diagnostic centre, for patients with vague abdominal symptoms, in July 2015. Through the UCLH Cancer Collaborative, the trust is now supporting opening of similar services at other hospitals across our region.

When a GP sees a patient with symptoms such as abdominal pain or weight loss, it can be difficult to refer them to the most appropriate tests quickly. These centres offer a one-stop shop service for these patients to offer appropriate diagnostic tests to get to the route of their symptoms quickly.

The project is part of the national Accelerate, Coordinate, Evaluate (ACE) Programme jointly funded by Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS England.

UCLH has also welcomed NHS England funding for a new linear accelerator, announced in December. It is recommended that Linacs are replaced after around 10 years in operation, however the last time there was a major national investment in NHS radiotherapy machines was in the early 2000s. UCLH has used the funding to replace a linear accelerator which had been in service for 10 years.

To learn more about our new linac, click here.

 Latest news

 Contact details

Communications unit
2nd floor central
250 Euston Road
London NW1 2PG

Media enquiries

Switchboard: 020 3456 7890
Media enquiries: 020 3447 7542 / 020 3447 9506

Out of hours
The normal working hours for the Communications Unit are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. The only media enquiries that will be answered outside of these working hours are urgent enquiries and those relating to major incidents. To access the out-of-hours service call switchboard on 0845 155 5000.

Share this story