Radiographers set to be key in cancer taskforce plans

Tuesday 26th May 2015
Radiographers will be a key part of the independent cancer care taskforce created by NHS England. Image Credit: skynesher
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With a focus on prevention and improved diagnosis, radiographers are likely to be a key part of the independent cancer care taskforce created by NHS England. 

Publishing a statement better detailing its plans for the future, the taskforce has underlined the importance of better prevention and swifter diagnosis, as well as better treatment, care and aftercare for all those diagnosed with cancer. 

Tasked with achieving the vision established in the NHS Five Year Forward View, the body has outlined a number of ways they will work towards these goals.

The taskforce, chaired by Cancer Research UK chief executive Harpal Kumar, will deliver a full five-year strategy later this year. 

A key part of its statement of intent focused on a much greater emphasis on prevention efforts, including secondary prevention, which will see those working in diagnosis and radiography brought into the limelight.

It also raised the importance of doing more to ensure patients feel better informed, clearer leadership and accountability for driving improvements, and closer integration between health and social care for patients.

This will include, among other measures, streamlining the diagnostic pathway and reducing visits to GPs. 

The document also highlights changes to detection, diagnosis and treatment, with measures being taken to address the significant variability in access to optimal diagnosis and treatment.

It notes that, on average, cancers are diagnosed at a more advanced stage in England than in other comparable countries, which immediately puts treatment at a disadvantage.

The ACE programme (Accelerate, Coordinate and Evaluate), currently being implemented jointly by NHS England, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, will be responsible for evaluating new pathway models to speed up diagnosis.

According to the statement, there will also be significant investment in increasing diagnostic capacity, and short-term measures to alleviate capacity constraints, and reduce the time it takes to adopt new techniques.

Written by Megan Smith

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