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Found 105 results
  1. News Article
    There were 800 fewer cancer surgeries in the first two weeks of January than usually take place during the period, according to provisional data seen by HSJ. The bulk of this reduction came in London and the surrounding counties such as Essex, Bedfordshire, and Surrey. London and the south east have been severely hit by coronavirus pressures, causing widely reported mass cancellations of non-urgent elective surgery. However, the impact on cancer cases has, so far, been less clear. NHS England has insisted in the last week that urgent cancer cases should be given the same priority as coronavirus patients. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 25 January 2021
  2. News Article
    A care home worker who was wrongly diagnosed with cancer said she thought it was a "cruel joke" when she was told doctors had made a mistake and she did not have cancer at all. Mum-of-four Janice Johnston said her "world crumbled" when she learned she had a rare form of blood cancer at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in 2017. She had 18 months of oral chemotherapy treatment, during which she experienced weight loss, nausea and bone pain, and had to give up her job as an auxiliary nurse. When the treatment did not appear to be working, she says, medics upped the dosage. In 2018, she sought alternative treatment at Guy's Hospital in London. It was there a specialist told her she did not have cancer at all but a different condition. Mrs Johnston was awarded £75,950 in damages after East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability. Staff at the hospital had failed to do the necessary ultrasound scan and bone marrow biopsy before diagnosing her. Read full story Source: BBC News, 25 January 2021
  3. Event
    Cancer affects us all. Survival in England is at a record high and patients’ experience of treatment and care has never been higher, but we won’t stop there. We want every person with cancer to have the very best diagnosis, treatment and care. NHS England & Improvement The NHS Long Term Plan set out a clear pathway for the improvement of cancer care, the aim being: • Enable an extra 55,000 people each year to survive for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis. • Three in four cancers (75%) will be diagnosed at an early stage. This virtual conference aims to showcase the forward-thinking and innovative initiatives that are already being implemented across the country. Register
  4. News Article
    In a new trial, cancer patients across the UK have been using the eRAPID technology system to help them manage their cancer symptoms. The system has been developed by the University of Leeds, and this is the first trial to offer automated advice to early-stage patients whose treatment aims to cure cancer. Hundreds of early-stage colorectal, breast, or gynaecological cancer patients took part in the trial which used computer algorithms to help manage their symptoms and improve their wellbeing. They were able to report online symptoms from home and receive instant advice on whether to self-manage or seek medical attention. Cancer can cause a range of different symptoms for patients living with the disease, as well as from the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy, which are sometimes life-threatening and all of which lower a patients’ quality of life. Better monitoring and management of these symptoms can help in improving treatment delivery and reducing patients’ physical distress. All patients in the trial received their usual care, with 256 receiving the eRAPID system as additional care. The patients reported better symptom control and physical wellbeing in the early weeks of treatment, with the system preventing symptom deterioration in about 9% of patients after 12 weeks. Dr Kate Absolom, University Academic Fellow in the Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James’s and the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Leeds, said: “The encouraging results from this study will help pave the way for future development and refinement of these interventions in broader cancer settings. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need and speeded a shift towards technology-enabled care, so these study results are very timely.” Programme lead Professor Galina Velikova, at the Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James’s, University of Leeds, and the Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Rising numbers of cancer patients are receiving a range of anti-cancer treatments which means patients are living longer and require longer periods of care and monitoring. “Remote online monitoring options have the potential to be a patient-centred, safe, and effective approach to support patients during cancer treatment and manage the growing clinical workload for cancer care.” Read full story Source: Health Europa, 11 January 2021
  5. News Article
    Smear-test delays during lockdown have prompted calls for home-screening kits. Cervical cancer screening has restarted across the UK - but some women say they will not attend their appointments for fear of catching Covid. Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust is urging "faster action" on home tests for HPV, which causes 99% of cervical cancers. An NHS official said GP practices should continue screening throughout lockdown, and "anyone invited for a cervical smear test should attend". Cancer Research UK said it was not yet known how effective and accurate self-sampling could be in cervical screening. A survey by gynaecological cancer charity the Eve Appeal indicates nearly one in three missed smear tests are the result of people being "put off" by coronavirus. And a Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust survey during the pandemic suggests the same proportion would prefer to take their own human-papillomavirus (HPV) test rather than go to a GP. Acting chief executive Rebecca Shoosmith said coronavirus had added "more barriers" to going for a smear test. "Sadly those who found it difficult before are likely to be no closer to getting tested," she said. "Self-sampling would be a game-changer." Both charities emphasise smear tests are for "women and anyone with a cervix" and transgender and non-binary people may have additional barriers to going. Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust said DIY tests could also help people who had been sexually assaulted and those with disabilities or from backgrounds where smear tests were taboo. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 January 2021
  6. News Article
    NHS bosses have instructed hospitals to keep performing urgent cancer surgery despite Covid pressures, after a growing number cancelled procedures because they did not have enough intensive care beds or available staff. They have told England’s regional directors of cancer to ensure treatment of people who need cancer surgery within four weeks gets the same priority as care of patients who have Covid. The move was unveiled in a letter, obtained by HSJ, sent last Friday by Amanda Pritchard, the chief operating officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement. It was also signed by Cally Palmer, the NHS’s national cancer director, and Prof Peter Johnson, a highly respected specialist who is the NHS’s national clinical director for cancer. They have acted after unease among cancer specialists that growing numbers of hospitals, including all those in London, had cancelled urgent operations. Hospitals have felt obliged to do so either because they did not have enough intensive care beds for patients who might need one after their cancer procedure or because surgical staff had been repurposed to help care for Covid patients. Doctors voiced alarm at the scale of recent postponements of what the NHS classes as “priority two” operations. That means they should be done within 28 days to ensure that someone with cancer does not see their disease spread or become inoperable because it was delayed. More than 1,000 cancer patients in London are now waiting to have “priority two” or “P2” urgent surgery, but none have been given a new date for when it will happen, HSJ reported last week. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 January 2021
  7. News Article
    More than 1,000 people needing urgent cancer surgery in London have no date for their treatment, HSJ can reveal. A document leaked to HSJ showed that, at the end of last week, more than 1,000 of London’s cancer surgery patients without an appointment date were defined as P2 (priority two), meaning they needed to be seen within four weeks or risk their condition worsening. The report seen by HSJ also showed more than 300 P2 patients had their surgery postponed in the past week, a statistic NHS England London has so far refused to disclose. Hospitals in the capital are facing their highest-ever COVID-19 occupancy rates, with surgical lists at many trusts being cancelled. Meanwhile, a separate NHSE London document reported in the press this week revealed: “Most NHS Green sites [those cancer surgery sites intended to be covid-free to avoid risk to very frail patients] are now compromised with only a limited number of cases being undertaken in NHS sites this week”. The papers also said the current plans to increase indepedent sector capacity usage were “insufficient to offset the NHS shortfall”, and noted there was a two week lead-in time to move patients into private hospitals “based on clinical rotas, theatre bookings, [and] patient isolation”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 12 January 2021
  8. News Article
    Potentially life-saving cancer operations have been put on hold at a major London NHS trust because of the number of beds taken by Covid patients. King's College Hospital Trust has cancelled all "Priority 2" operations - those doctors judge need to be carried out within 28 days. Cancer Research UK said such cancellations did not appear to be widespread across the country. And surgery has not been stopped on the same scale as during the first wave. Rebecca Thomas, who has had her bowel cancer surgery at King's College Hospital "cancelled indefinitely", told the BBC she felt like she had been left "in limbo". Until she has surgery her tumour cannot be studied to see how aggressive it is, and so she won't know until then how significant this wait will turn out to be. A spokesperson for the Trust, which mainly serves patients in south London, said: "Due to the large increase in patients being admitted with COVID-19, including those requiring intensive care, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone all elective procedures, with the exception of cases where a delay would cause immediate harm. "A small number of cancer patients due to be operated on this week have had their surgery postponed, with patients being kept under close review by senior doctors." Read full story Source: 5 January 2021
  9. News Article
    NHS leaders are holding fresh talks with private healthcare groups to try to secure surgery for urgent cancer patients in London, as the covid-19 second wave causes hospitals in the capital to make widespread cancellations, HSJ understands. In recent weeks, pivotal independent sector providers have declined to do the procedures for the payments on offer. In the spring covid peak, the NHS block-booked private capacity in London, but now only small, spot contracts are in place for this work. Under the previous deal, rules meant low-priority private patients could not be treated ahead of NHS patients who needed surgery urgently. But now providers can prioritise their private patients as they see fit. HSJ understands NHS England, under pressure from the Treasury, was not willing to pay the prices asked by the three private providers. As London NHS hospitals continue to fill with covid patients, particularly in critical care, they are able to do few cancer procedures beyond the most urgent category, P1, and are suspending many procedures in the lower categories, including P2, sources said. P2 is defined as patients who need treatment within four weeks. One senior clinical manager in the city told HSJ on Monday: “Cancellations [are] rife. We have stopped almost all operating in our elective hub apart from P1 [patients assessed as needing surgery within three days]. “The independent sector has not opened up capacity and lifestyle operations [are] still planned [in private hospitals].” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 5 January 2021
  10. Content Article
    LATEST Patient Safety Weekly Update #16 (14 January 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #15 (7 January 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #14 (17 December 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #13 (10 December 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #12 (3 December 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #11 (26 November 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #9 (12 November 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #8 (5 November 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #7 (29 October 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #6 (22 October 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #5 (15 October 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #4 (8 October 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #3 (1 October 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #2 (23 September 2020) Patient Safety Weekly Update #1 (17 September 2020)
  11. News Article
    Cancer surgery in London is under threat as rising covid admissions put pressure on services that no longer have back-up capacity from the independent sector, HSJ has learned. Research by HSJ has discovered that NHS England ended contracts with HCA, The London Clinic and the Cromwell Hospital at the end of August, after concerns about underutilisation. Under the previous deal with the private sector, rules were in place to make sure low-priority private patients were not treated ahead of NHS patients who needed surgery urgently. HCA and The Cromwell have confirmed the contracts were ended in August and were not renewed. The London Clinic did not respond to a request for comment. As of 19 December, there were 2,909 covid inpatients being treated in London hospitals, a rise of 39% over the previous seven days. Barts Health Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust in the east of the city are under particular pressure. Should the number of covid patients reach a level that requires the capital to instigate surge protocols, theatre space set aside for cancer operations is likely to be commandeered. Under this scenario, the NHS in the capital would no longer have the option to transfer cancer patients to private facilities as it did during the first wave of the pandemic. A senior London-based source said: “This is a real and imminent threat to London’s ability to perform cancer surgery." Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 21 December 2020
  12. News Article
    The waiting list for cancer patients has almost doubled over the last seven months, according to internal NHS data which has never been made public. A slide set seen by HSJ suggests the total number of patients waiting for cancer treatment on the 62-day pathway has increased from around 90,000 in mid-May, to around 160,000 at the start of December. However, the data suggests the NHS has made good progress in treating patients waiting the longest. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 15 December 2020
  13. News Article
    A hospital has apologised after an elderly cancer patient tested positive for coronavirus, having been left in a ward with another patient suffering from COVID-19 for several days. The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which serves the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, Wales, has confirmed that it is dealing with an outbreak of the virus at the hospital. It comes after Lesley Pook accused the hospital of “locking” her father James ‘Jim’ Pook and others in a ward with a coronavirus patient and “waiting for them all to develop symptoms”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 9 December 2020
  14. News Article
    Cancer screening programmes designed to save hundreds of lives have been delayed by up to a year as services struggle with staff and equipment shortages, HSJ can reveal. Of the 14 Lung Health Check Programme sites announced last year, four — or just under a third — have either halted programmes they had started or delayed beginning them, with some now expected not to be operational until after March. The areas chosen for the scheme activities, which often involved mobile computed tomography units in vans, have high rates of late diagnosis lung cancer. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February showed CT scanning of high risk groups led to a 26% reduction in deaths in men and between a 39 and 61% reduction in women. NHS England confirmed “activity had resumed” in nine areas while one has started this month, meaning four areas remain out of action. The organisation declined to answer HSJ’s questions on which services were not running and why. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 1 December 2020
  15. News Article
    A blood test designed to detect more than 50 types of cancer at an early stage will be trialled by the NHS. More than 165,000 people in England will be offered the tests from next year. If successful, the NHS hopes to expand it to 1m people from 2024. Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said early detection had the potential "to save many lives". While some welcomed the pilot, others cautioned the test was still untried and untested. Developing a blood test for cancer has been keeping scientists busy for many years without much success. Making one that's accurate and reliable has proved incredibly complex - the danger is that a test doesn't detect a person's cancer when they do have it, or it indicates someone has cancer when they don't. This test, developed by the Californian firm Grail, is designed to detect molecular changes in the blood caused by cancer in people with no obvious symptoms. As part of a large-scale pilot, also funded by the company, 140,000 participants aged between 50 and 79 will be asked to take the tests for the next three years. Another 25,000 people with possible cancer symptoms will also be offered testing after being referred to hospital in the normal way. Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 November 2020
  16. News Article
    Older women could be less likely to receive ovarian cancer treatment. A new report analysed data from more than 17,000 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed across England between 2016 and 2018. Three in five (60%) of women with ovarian cancer over the age of 79 did not receive either chemotherapy or surgery, while 37% of women over the age of 70 did not receive any treatment. The nature of ovarian cancer means surgery is essential in the large majority of cases to remove the tumour. The researchers cautioned that with an ageing population it is vital that women of all ages have access to the best possible treatments. Researchers also examined the various rates of treatments for ovarian cancer among women in different parts of England. They found the probability of receiving any treatment fell below the average in the East Midlands, the East of England, Greater Manchester and Kent and Medway. The report was jointly funded by The British Gynaecological Cancer Society, Ovarian Cancer Action, Target Ovarian Cancer and delivered by analysts at the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Commenting on the report, Cary Wakefield, chief executive of Ovarian Cancer Action, said: "Neither your age nor location should decide your chance of survival if you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer." "Our audit is the first step in addressing the health inequalities women across England face, so we can begin to dismantle them." Read full story Source: The Independent, 11 November 2020
  17. News Article
    As many as 2,000 people could die because of Covid-related delays in the Welsh NHS, a cancer expert has said. With virus cases rising, Prof Tom Crosby, of the Wales Cancer Network, fears cancer cases missed in the first lockdown may now be harder to treat. Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said it would be "foolish" to have a plan for backlogs before the pandemic is over. But he said work was under way to address the issue with health boards. Alongside the spread of the virus, medical professionals are very worried about deaths that could occur not because of Covid, but due to the backlog of appointments and surgery it is causing. BBC Wales Investigates has been uncovering the full extent of the looming problem facing the NHS. Delays caused by the pandemic are a serious concern to Prof Crosby, who is medical director at the Wales Cancer Network. He said when the pandemic first hit, acute COVID-19 cases became the focus in hospitals at the expense of cancer, cardiac and orthopaedic appointments. "Some of the conversations we've had with patients in the clinic have been really, really challenging," he said. "Then there are thousands of patients who have not come through to the system that usually would have. Some of those are going to have had cancer, and they will not have been diagnosed now." Prof Crosby has been looking at possible outcomes for cancer patients because of delays in diagnosis and treatment. "We have done some modelling work with England, and it has suggested that between 200 and 2,000 excess deaths will occur as a result of undiagnosed or untreated cancer in Wales," he said. "I think the effects on cancer services are going to be here for two to three years." Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 November 2020
  18. News Article
    Cancer patients have had surgery cancelled because of coronavirus for the first time as pressure mounts on hospitals from the second wave, The Independent has learnt. Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has confirmed it had to postpone the operations because of the number of patients needing intensive care beds. While hospitals across the north of England have been forced to start cancelling routine operations in the last 10 days, maintaining cancer and emergency surgery had been a red line for bosses given the risk to patients from any delays. Cancer Research UK said it was “extremely concerning” that some operations had been postponed and called for urgent action and investment to make sure treatments were not curtailed further. In a statement to The Independent, Nottingham University Hospitals medical director Keith Girling said: “We’ve had to make the extremely difficult decision to postpone operations for four of our cancer/pre-cancer patients this week due to pressure on our intensive care units from both Covid-19 and non-covid related emergencies." “We expect to treat one of the postponed patients next week, and we’re in contact with the others to arrange a new date, which will be imminent. This delay, however short, will be incredibly hard for the patients and their families, and I’m truly sorry for any distress this will have caused. Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 October 2020
  19. Event
    NCRI Virtual Showcase will feature a number of topical sessions, panel discussions and proffered paper presentations covering the latest discoveries across: Big data and AI Prevention and early detection Immunology and immunotherapy Living with and beyond cancer Cancer research and COVID-19 Further information and registration
  20. Content Article
    In order to support informed and sensitive care of women, this Royal College of Nursing publication focuses on: an overview of HPV (including the current vaccination recommendations) the national cervical screening programmes information about colposcopy key facts on cervical cancer.
  21. News Article
    East Cheshire faces a serious issue with head and neck cancer, with missed target times and inefficient practices leading to worsening outcomes for patients. That’s prompted officials from the NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to come up with a plan of action to tackle the problem — but as Cheshire East councillors heard this week, it’s hit a snag. Since 2014, the East Cheshire NHS Trust and Manchester Foundational Trust (MFT) have co-delivered the head and neck cancer pathway. This means that patients are seen by staff at Macclesfield Hospital for diagnostic tests — and if malignant cells are detected, then the patient will be referred on to Wythenshawe for surgery or, if sadly needed, East Cheshire’s own palliative care team for supportive care. In a presentation to CEC’s health scrutiny committee, the CCG said just 10% of patients in the borough were seen at Macclesfield within the 62-day target time in Q3 of 2019/20 — against a desired level of 85%. Simon Goff, chief operating officer of East Cheshire NHS Trust, told the committee: “There is no one stop service - which is where a patient gets diagnostics all on the same day. Biopsies are not always up to the standards required so patients need to have it again. This is a key weakness in the existing service.” The lack of a ‘one stop service’ means there are no on-site pathology services — so samples are taken off-site for testing, and with biopsies needing to be analysed within 24 hours of collection, it results in 39% of all patients having to undergo the procedure again. So what did East Cheshire do about it? The first step was to launch a consultation, with 64 former patients out of roughly 300 eligible providing feedback to the Trust over the summer. The ‘robust’ consultation, saw patients express their desire to ‘know what is going on as soon as possible’, with the ‘issue of travel being outweighed by [the desire for] a quick diagnosis’. Fortunately for health chiefs in Cheshire, there are ‘outstanding’ hospitals surrounding the county — with the Care Quality Commission giving top marks to hospitals in Salford, St Helens, and The Christie in Didsbury. So with East Cheshire’s patients happy to travel a distance in order to gain a quick and accurate diagnosis, and the existing partnership with Manchester’s trust, officials are proposing moving some patients experiencing positive diagnoses and ‘bad news’ cases to MFT sites, such as The Christie or Wythenshawe Hospital. The idea is that ‘neck lump’ patients will be immediately sent to Wythenshawe, with all other patients undergoing initial tests in Macclesfield first before being either sent home with the all clear, or referred on. Biopsies will be done in Wythenshawe, as will ‘breaking bad news’ appointments — where patients are told of a positive cancer diagnosis. Officials say this solution ‘would start to address some of the clinical and performance concerns’ by cutting the average diagnosis wait time from four weeks down to one, reducing the amount of appointments patients need to attend, and allowing for continuity of care throughout treatment. Read full story Source: Knutsford Guardian, 10 October 2020
  22. News Article
    A number of patients in a cancer ward have died in hospital after a coronavirus outbreak and more have tested positive for the virus. NHS Lothian have not confirmed how many died but said it was fewer than five and a ‘very small number’ of patients. The health board is investigating the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh which has had to put measures in place to further contain the outbreak. Another six patients have tested positive for the virus so the hospital has closed the oncology ward to new patients being admitted. The hospital has also asked patients, who would usually be allowed to go home over the weekend and return to hospital on Monday, to stay in hospital the whole week. Dr Donald Inverarity, consultant microbiologist at NHS Lothian, said: ‘Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and I would like to express our sincere condolences." "A multidisciplinary Incident Management Team was immediately established and all necessary infection control measures are in place. The situation will continue to be reviewed and monitored very closely." The health board’s Health Protection Team and the nationwide Test and Protect teams are carrying out contact tracing of visitors and outpatients where necessary. Routine coronavirus screening of staff and patients is also taking place as part of an enhanced regime. Read full story Source: Metro, 10 October 2020
  23. News Article
    Famous faces, including TV chefs Gordon Ramsay, Nadiya Hussein, and actress Emma Thompson are backing a major new campaign urging anyone concerned about cancer to get checked and to keep routine appointments, as new research found that even now, nearly half (48%) of the public would delay or not seek medical help at all. A fifth (22%) would not want to be a burden on the health service while a similar number said that fear of getting coronavirus or passing it onto others was a major reason for not getting help. More than four in ten people would leave it longer to get health advice than they normally would have before the coronavirus outbreak, however delaying can have serious consequences for some cancers. NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to keep cancer services going throughout the pandemic, with almost one million people referred for checks or starting treatment since the virus took hold. The NHS’s Help Us Help You access campaign will use TV adverts, billboards and social media to urge people to speak to their GP if they are worried about a symptom that could be cancer, and also remind pregnant women to attend check-ups and seek advice if they are worried about their baby. People with mental health issues are also been encouraged to access NHS support. Read full story Source: NHS England, 9 October 2020