In December 2022, Public Policy Projects brought together oncology experts and key stakeholders for a roundtable to discuss how effective partnership working in healthcare environments can reduce health inequalities in breast cancer outcomes. The objective of the roundtable was to create a series of actionable insights and recommendations for health providers to create a more resilient health and care system and, ultimately, improve breast cancer outcomes in the UK.
This document is a summary of the key outcomes, insights and recommendations that were generated from the roundtable. It is not an exhaustive report of facilitating and enabling partnerships to tackle health inequalities, but rather a particular view from a group of key sector stakeholders.
- The NHS should update its key priorities and set expectations for integrating collaborative partnership working as a mechanism to achieve outcomes and deliver upon existing priorities for Cancer Alliances.
- Health inequality strategy guidance for Cancer Alliances should closely examine the intersectionality of health inequalities for people who span multiple vulnerable groups. Integrated care boards (ICBs) should encourage dedicated training for clinicians and care commissioners to identify intersectional groups.
- Cancer Alliances should work with integrated care partnerships (ICPs) to understand their priorities, develop a shared mission, and derive mutually beneficial approaches to developing localised and responsive cancer strategies. These should be adapted and implemented across the devolved nations to be suitably implemented across their existing cancer services.
- ICBs should be required to evidence their understanding of local populations.
- Patient representation panels should be better harnessed to develop new diagnosis and treatment pathways or interventions, as well as new clinical trial models for breast cancer.
- Individual screening initiatives should seek out the experiences of others in order to reach those at highest risk for poor outcomes across different cancer pathways. An example off this might be conducting screening in mobile units to optimise accessibility, as was done by Targeted Lung Health Check services.