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.
Promoting the role of AHPs in multidisciplinary teams.
The two resulting documents – one aimed at professionals and one aimed at service users - are intended to promote the roles and skills of AHPs in cancer care and raise awareness in people affected by cancer of the wide range of care interventions available from the AHP workforce.
AHPs are the third largest NHS professional workforce group and make a significant contribution to the care of people affected by cancer. This contribution is often hidden as public awareness of the 14 separate AHPs is limited with the general public often only citing the care of ‘doctors and nurses’. With cancer affecting almost 1 in 2 people, most of the general AHP workforce will care for people affected by cancer. However, people with cancer have specific physical and emotional needs and some AHPs require additional knowledge and skills to deliver a higher level of ‘specialised’ care.
These publications outline the range of care interventions AHPs can offer to people affected by cancer and illustrate the general and specialist skills required of this workforce in this care setting. It is hoped that they will raise the profile of AHPs in cancer care, improve recruitment and retention of AHPs to the cancer workforce and enhance the quality of care experienced by people along the cancer care pathway.
Find out more about our work:
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 plan.
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.”
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.
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.