Patients benefit from cancer funding boost

Patients will benefit from a significant investment across West Yorkshire and Harrogate aimed at improvements in early diagnosis and making more cancers curable.

West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Cancer Alliance, part of the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, has allocated £4.5 million across five NHS hospital trusts to fund eleven projects. These projects were given the go ahead this week and will receive funding from the Capacity for System Change Fund.

In Harrogate, the Trust is pleased to confirm its submitted application to the Creating Capacity for System Change Fund has been successful. The total resource has been confirmed as £495,900 over the next 18 months.

The prime aim is to ensure a timelier diagnosis of cancer at an earlier stage for the people living in Harrogate and rural district.

The application was put together following engagement with key stakeholders including commissioners, patient representatives, GP Cancer Lead, diagnostic clinicians and key cancer clinicians across the organisation.

The project would involve a significant amount of work understanding how the Trust can develop and then implement a rapid diagnostic centre which would be essential in meeting the faster diagnosis standard, which is 28 days to diagnosis from referral. The work will be aimed at addressing all cancer pathways for patients referred to Harrogate for investigation and subsequent treatment.

The Trust will enhance current workforce capabilities in the Radiology and Endoscopy departments to ensure better access to CT scans and Endoscopy. More equipment to enhance the one stop breast diagnosis clinic will also improve the patient experience.

The Alliance is able to do this following a successful bid for national monies to transform services and allow people to be seen more quickly, have faster access to diagnostic testing and find out earlier whether or not they have a cancer diagnosis. This will improve their chances of survival.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (in partnership with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust); Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, based in Wakefield, and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust have made a case for how their proposed changes will benefit patients. Each will now work in conjunction with their partners in other parts of the health and care system, such as GP practices, to deliver the changes.

The 11 initial Capacity For System Change bids include:

  • Proposals that will help people with worrying symptoms to gain faster access to specialist testing, such as radiology (Mid Yorkshire)
  • Leeds city-wide roll-out of their Accelerate, Co-ordinate and Evaluate (ACE) pilot scheme to develop new pathways for patients with vague but concerning symptoms
  • A pilot scheme to secure access to the Faeco Immunochemical Test  (FIT) for patients who present in GP surgeries with unexplained symptoms and who may not necessarily be referred for a potential colorectal cancer diagnosis in hospital (Bradford)
  • The use of hi-resolution cameras in GP surgeries to diagnose suspected skin cancers, allowing GPs immediate access to specialist skin doctors, avoiding unnecessary hospital visits for people (Leeds)
  • Workforce development proposals – enhancing the skills of staff groups such as pathology practitioners and endoscopists to undertake more specialist work, addressing shortages in staffing and enabling patients to move more quickly through the diagnostic phase of their treatment (Leeds and Harrogate)

Professor Sean Duffy, Clinical Director and Cancer Alliance Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate, said: ‘This is fantastic news for patients. Faster and better diagnosis can be lifesaving and the use of evidence based medicine and clinical research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients is a priority.

“We will also be making the most of learning from other areas who have led on this important area of work. All of this will give us the opportunity to tackle the big cancer issues together across health and social care services   which will ultimately improve life chances for people living in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.”

Rob Webster, Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate STP, said: ‘This is a great example of what can be achieved when organisations work together. STPs are central to this process. They give us the opportunity to tackle big health and social issues, such as cancer, and to work across organisations to come up with better solutions.”


Notes to Editors:


Please refer media enquiries to Tracy Holmes, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, on 07977 211555, or email


Further information on the specific bids can be obtained by contacting:

Rachel Warburton. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, tel 0113 206 9223

Jason Joy, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, tel 01274 364022

Adrian Beddow, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, tel 01924 543650

Paul Widdowfield, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, tel 01423 557470


The latest developments are part of a wider programme of cancer service transformation which forms an integral element of the work by West Yorkshire’s health and care partnership (also known as the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership).


The cancer programme includes a range of projects and initiatives which will also improve the quality of life for those living with and beyond cancer; make best use of pioneering technology to change how services are delivered; ensure the highest quality services are available consistently across the area and rate patient experience as highly as the effectiveness of the care they receive.


arrogHaThe West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance is one of 16 across England established to deliver the improvements set out in the national cancer strategy and forms the cancer priority workstream of the STP.  The Alliance works in collaboration with health, local government, voluntary, community and charitable organisations across the area to develop services which best meet the needs of their local populations but which can be rolled out with greater impact across the population.


The WYH Cancer Alliance has so far secured a total of £12.4million from the national Cancer Transformation Fund to support improvements in early diagnosis and make more cancers curable through a range of projects and interventions. The Capacity for System Change Fund is one of those initiatives.


West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability Transformation Plan is built from six local area place-based plans; Bradford District and Craven, Calderdale, Harrogate and Rural District, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield which all focus on the health and social care needs of local people and nine area wide priorities. These include prevention of disease and illness, primary care, cancer, stroke, urgent care and hospitals working together.