The Cancer Vanguard hosted another Communities of Practice event for Cancer Alliances, focusing on developing best practice timed pathways for colorectal, lung, prostate and upper GI cancers.

As well as hearing from representatives from the Cancer Vanguard and NHS England, the well-attended event brought together clinicians from the Alliances leading in these areas.

They discussed the challenges of developing the pathways and service innovations that have been tested or planned in order to deliver them, and identified barriers to ensuring the pathways are implemented by 2020.

While there were issues specific to each of the pathways, it was recognised that all should allow for local innovation and include user involvement at every stage of development. Dave Shackley, medical director for Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation, identified seven golden threads that should be considered for best practice pathway development:

  • Daily triage
  • Same-day hot reporting of scans
  • Simple protocols
  • Use patient navigators
  • Develop standards for diagnostics and access
  • Consider a sector/hub approach for complex diagnostics
  • Consider networking radiology/pathology, though this will need digitising.

NHS England is producing guidance, protocols and pathways for these tumour types which can be used to help spread best practice as quickly as possible. The pathways currently being developed by the Cancer Vanguard will be incorporated into this work.

Presentations from the day are available here.

Context Setting, Jenny Scott, Programme Director, Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation

The National Cancer Programme, Professor Chris Harrison, National Clinical Director for Cancer

Issues and Opportunities in developing timed pathways, Nicola Hunt, Managing Director, RM Partners

Vanguard work on timed pathways, Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones, Chief Medical Officer, UCLH Cancer Collaborative

Best Practice Timed Prostate Pathway, Satish Maddineni, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Salford Royal and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust 

Using MRI in Prostate Pathway, Caroline Moore, Reader in Urology, UCL

The RAPID Prostate Pathway, Professor Hashim Ahmed, Chair of Urology, Imperial College London