Latest news

Mon 24 March 2014

Patient and carer survey launched for the CCG 2014 report

We are putting together a report about cancer in England and would like to hear from people affected by cancer and their carers.  The report will highlight the progress made in improving cancer outcomes since 2000 and call on the Government to protect what is already in place and do more to support cancer patients and their families.

If you are able to participate, your answers will be used to ensure that the report reflects the views of patients and carers. Some of the questions have boxes for you to add extra comments and we may use some of this information as quotes in the report.  However, all of your answers are anonymous and you will not be identified through the survey.

The survey can be found by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the CCG team on  Thank you to all who take part in the survey, we really appreciate your time and perspective.

Fri 28 February 2014

Department of Health announces consultation on Medical Innovation Bill

The Department of Health has announced a consultation on the Medical Innovation Bill, inviting people, particularly doctors, patients and legal professionals, to share their views on whether fear of litigation is preventing the use of pioneering treatments in the NHS.  The Bill, taken up by the Government last year, seeks to improve patient safety and encourage innovation in medical practice, helping to clarify the existing law on medical innovation.  Stakeholders have until 25 April to provide feedback to the consultation on the Bill.  The Department is particularly interested to find out if the draft Bill would help encourage responsible medical innovation, and help prevent irresponsible innovation.  The draft Bill can be accessed here.

Fri 28 February 2014

Monitor publishes figures on cancer waiting times performance standards

Monitor has published its report Performance of the NHS foundation trust sector.  The report, which can be accessed here, analyses the performance of trusts over nine months ending on 31 December 2013.  Of interest to CCG members, on cancer waiting time targets, the report notes that:

  • In Q3 of 2013, 18 trusts breached the 85 per cent performance standard for treatment within 62 days after referral from a GP.  This compares to just four trusts breaching the same target in Q3 of 2012
  • The aggregate foundation trust performance against the treatment within 62 days target was 87.3 per cent.  This is the lowest level for this target for two years
  • Trusts which have breached the target often cited increased referrals as one of the reasons they had done so.  Other reasons mentioned were: complex pathways, late referrals and consultant capacity
  • Fewer trusts breached the performance standard for the breast cancer 2 Week Wait in Q3 of 2013.  Five trusts breached this target in Q3 of 2013, compared to nine trusts in Q2 of 2013.  However, this compares to three breaches in Q3 of 2012
  • Two trusts identified inadequate outpatient capacity as the primary cause for missing the 2 Week Wait target, and three trusts attributed most of the breaches to patients cancelling or declining appointments
  • Overall performance for the consultant referral within 62 days performance standard has remained high, despite a small increase in the number of foundation trust breaches, to four, in Q3 of 2013
  • Aggregate performance against the all cancers two week wait target was better in Q3 of 2013 than the performance in Q3 of 2012, despite their being more breaches in Q3 of 2013
Fri 21 February 2014

NHS England offers GP practices the opportunity to participate in enhanced services

NHS England has announced this week how GP practices can participate in enhanced service for reducing unplanned admissions, which they say has been enabled by the reduction of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).  Deputy Medical Director of NHS England, Mike Berwick, says that the main purpose of the enhanced service will be to improve services for the most vulnerable patients, with practices asked to:

  • Support decisions on hospital transfers or admissions by improving communication between clinicians and GP practices
  • Identify adult patients and children with complex needs who could benefit from proactive care management
  • Work with hospitals to improve discharge processes and review unplanned admissions
  • Develop and regularly review personalised care plans for at risk patients, ensuring they have a named accountable GP and care co-ordinator

This announcement can be seen in full here.

Fri 21 February 2014

NHS England decision to delay rollout

NHS England announced this week that they will delay the introduction of by six months, to ensure that more people have a better understanding of how the database will work and its stated benefits. will extract individual medical records from general practice, combining them with existing hospital records.  Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information at NHS England, has said that the database is fundamental to the future of the health service and would help to improve cancer survival rates by improving understanding of how to treat people.  Ten health charities have written a joint letter to The Telegraph, to say that the information that would be collected would be “overwhelmingly beneficial” as it would mean people with serious diseases would be diagnosed earlier and have a better quality of life.  However, the organisations acknowledged that concerns over privacy need to be listened to, and the benefits of the scheme should be clearly communicated.  Coverage of the letter to the Telegraph can be read here.

Fri 14 February 2014

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) finds that global cancer deaths are more than 50 per cent higher in men than women

CRUK has today published figures which demonstrate that more than 126 men in every 100,000 die every year around the world from cancer, compared to 82 women per 100,000.  This equates to around 4.6 million deaths in men and 3.5 million deaths amongst women.  CRUK has published an interactive map which compares statistics from around the world on the variation in incidence, mortality, and the reliability of data for each country and region.  More on this story, including the interactive map, can be found on the CRUK website, here.

Tue 11 February 2014

European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights launched

The European Cancer Concord (ECC), an organisation involving patient advocacy and oncology leaders from 17 European countries, launched a European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights, on World Cancer Day.  The work has been led by Professor Patrick Johnston of Queen’s University, Belfast.  The bill of rights is underpinned by three key principles:

  • Article 1: The right of every European citizen to receive accurate information and be involved in their own care
  • Article 2: The right of every European citizen to access specialised cancer care underpinned by research and innovation
  • Article 3: The right of every European citizen to cost-effective health systems that ensure optimum cancer outcomes

Each Article has a number of associated rights, which can be seen in the full document available here.

Tue 11 February 2014

World Health Organisation World Cancer Report 2014 published

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published their World Cancer Report 2014.  The report was drafted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARG), the cancer agency of the WHO, and emphasises that effective prevention measures, as opposed to just treatments, are needed urgently to prevent a cancer crisis.

The report found that based on trends in incidence and mortality, the burden of cancer is growing “at an alarming pace”, hence the need for prevention strategies to be emphasised.  Key facts outlined in the report are as follows:

  • In 2012, the burden of cancer world-wide rose to an estimated 14 million new cases per year
  • This figure is expected to be 22 million within the next two decades
  • In the next two decades, annual cancer deaths are predicted to rise from 8.2 million to 13 million
  • The most common cancers diagnosed globally in 2012 were lung (1.8 million, 13 per cent); breast (1.7 million, 11.9 per cent); large bowel (1.4 million, 9.7 per cent)
  • The most common cause of cancer deaths globally in 2012 were lung (1.6 million, 19.4 per cent); liver (0.8 million, 9.1 per cent); stomach (0.7 million, 8.8 per cent)
  • More than 60 per cent of total word cancer cases occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America, with these regions making up 70 per cent of the world’s cancer deaths

The full report can be accessed here (£).

Fri 24 January 2014

NICE proposals for the public consultation on value based assessment

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published proposals for the public consultation on value based assessment.  The public consultation is set to last three months, and will open in February 2014.  The amended sections of the guide will then be reviewed following feedback received in the consultation period, and NICE will hold workshops to “facilitate informed comments on the consultation proposals”.  The CCG Steering Group has indicated that the CCG will respond to the consultation, and a draft will be sent out to members for comment

Fri 10 January 2014

NHS England consultation on a five year plan and strategy for the commissioning of specialised services

NHS England has announced a consultation calling for proposals to be submitted to form its development of a five year plan and strategy for the commissioning of specialised services.  The deadline for proposals is Friday 28 February 2014. 

It is worth noting that NHS England explicitly states that “In view of the financial challenges facing specialised services in the first year of this strategy, we seek primarily proposals that will provide significant patient and public value and reduce cost.”  Further details of the consultation can be found here.

It is supported by 11 companies:

  • Amgen
  • Astra Zeneca
  • Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Celgene
  • Leo
  • Lilly
  • Novartis
  • Pfizer
  • Roche
  • Sanofi Aventis