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Health commissioners shortlisted for their outstanding work in improving cancer services

The two organisations which work together on commissioning cancer services have been shortlisted in the Cancer Care category in the 2016 Patient Safety Awards.

The awards, run by the Health Service Journal and Nursing Times, distinguish outstanding work in patient safety and have recognised a number of significant outcomes in which the CCGs have been successful in improving cancer services. These include:

  • Creating a network of GP practice cancer champions
  • Improving practice nurse education, training and awareness of cancer detection and information
  • Enhancing the quality of cancer care reviews
  • Improving screening uptake and reducing emergency presentations of cancer
  • Improving the uptake of 2-week cancer referrals

The Pennine Lancashire commissioning team, led by Dr Neil Smith, an award winning Macmillan GP, responded to the growing challenge of high cancer morbidity (illness) and mortality (death). They did this by developing a Pennine Lancashire (Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley, and Rossendale) Cancer Strategy and a Pennine Lancashire Cancer Local Improvement Scheme. These were designed to improve cancer services, treatment and care at all stages of a patient’s cancer journey, with the aim of ensuring that cancer treatment and care is the best possible. This is ongoing collaborative work between the two CCGs and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and reflects excellent close working relationships with a shared aim of putting patients at the heart of all developments.

Dr Neil Smith, said: “I am delighted that we have been recognised for this award especially as patient safety underpins all aspects of our work.

Our cancer strategy has already had a positive impact on the patients in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen. For instance every one of our GP practices now has a practice nurse competent and committed to offering cancer care reviews leading to over 800 new reviews.

We have also increased the number of patients being screened for bowel cancer and working on enhancing cancer screening for patients with learning difficulties. We remain committed to building on previous learning and successes for the coming years.”

Dr Smith was recognised at the prestigious Macmillan Excellence Awards in 2015 for his innovation and dedication to improving cancer services for patients. The award, Macmillan Professionals Innovation Excellence, acknowledged his great leadership, working in partnership with Macmillan and other services, across the whole of the Pennine Lancashire area to bring about lasting improvements in cancer care.