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Cancer and diagnostics

Clinical endoscopist training programme


Radiology Academies Review

Cancer workforce plan

Cancer and diagnostics

The Cancer and Diagnostics programme exists to support the implementation of national cancer strategies and HEE’s Cancer Workforce Plan.

We capture, monitor and develop projects which aim to deliver cancer workforce improvements. Within the diagnostic workforce, we support the development of the primarily non-medical, diagnostics workforces to reduce waiting times and increase the likelihood of early diagnosis leading to better care and outcomes for patients nationally. 


Find out more about our workstreams below:

Cancer care is one of the Five Year Forward View’s key priorities - focusing on prevention, earlier diagnosis, better treatment and living with cancer. Having access to more skilled staff in the right areas will be key to delivering on that strategy. Take a look at our work related to the cancer workforce planand promoting the role of AHPs in multidisciplinary teams.

Other resources:

We are leading on a range of initiatives and as part of our work we commissioned Skills for Health to develop a Communications Interactive Resource which:

- Identifies existing good practice in communication skills and bring it together in one place

- Provides a resource to enable services, teams and individuals to build on existing good practice

- Ensures the most up to date information is available to all in an interactive guide, free to access and available online with live links to information and resources

You can access the interactive resource here.



GatewayC, is designed to support GPs and other primary care staff in identifying which patients need urgent investigation by a specialist. The tool is now being rolled out across England to all primary care staff.

Developed and hosted at The Christie, an NHS specialist cancer hospital, GatewayC focuses on clinical decision making, based on the experiences of real patients. This is then combined with expert input from GPs, cancer specialists and organisations including Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Laura Roberts, Director of Skills, Development and Participation, Health Education England, said:

“Cancer survival is the best it has ever been, with thousands more people now surviving cancer every year. The NHS Long Term Plan makes clear, however, that one of the most important actions the NHS can take to further improve survival is earlier diagnosis.

‘We are very pleased to be working with GatewayC on the development and rollout of this new tool and believe it will help to support GPs and primary care staff to develop their skills and knowledge in this crucial area and help to improve cancer survival.”

Find out more on the GatewayC website.

Clinical endoscopist training programme

Demand for gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy in the UK is expected to increase over the next decade due to increased patient expectations, emphasis on early diagnosis and better uptake of screening. To address demand, GI endoscopic procedures that have traditionally been carried out by doctors are increasingly being performed by nurses and other practitioners – known as clinical endoscopists. To support this, HEE launched the clinical endoscopist training programme.  

The Office for Public Management (OPM) was commissioned to conduct an independent evaluation of the training pilot. The independent report, which looked at the impact and effectiveness of the training, detailed the success of the programme while also offering recommendations to improve, which have been implemented throughout the report development. It found that the majority of trainees from the first cohort are helping to meet endoscopy service demands within their own Trusts, freeing up medical colleagues and impacting positively on patient care. The trainees themselves also welcomed the professional and career development opportunity, whilst Trusts valued the accelerated approach. 


Competence Assessment Portfolio

Working with major national endoscopy stakeholders* we’ve developed the ‘Competence Assessment Portfolio.'The portfolio provides a framework for clinical endoscopists - ensuring a consistent basis for education and training, optimising patient safety and supporting high quality standards of care. Trainee clinical endoscopists, their clinical supervisors, mentors and managers can use the portfolio to demonstrate achievement of the skills and knowledge required to deliver safe and effective quality care through core and specific competencies, and to identify and manage risks.

* Stakeholders include the Joint Advisory Group on GI Endoscopy (JAG), the British Society of Gastroenterology, NHS Improving Quality, Royal College of Nursing, Council of Deans and higher education institutions.

Sonographers, also known as ultrasound practitioners, use high frequency sound-waves to assess organs and structures within the body to assist in the screening and diagnosis of a wide range of conditions. we have been working with partners on a number of initiatives.

Understanding how our genome – our complete genetic code – influences our health can mean better diagnoses, leading to new and targeted treatments, and even predicting and preventing disease. Our genomics education page tells you all you need to know about our work in this field. 

You can also watch a video on how genomics is used in cancer care.

In 2005 the Department of Health and the Royal College of Radiologists collaborated to set up three Radiology Academies – Leeds & West Yorkshire, Norwich and Peninsula (Plymouth). Take a look at our work in this area.