Morning, Tuesday, 25th August 2020
***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will discuss cancer care, prevention and research in England - looking at the priorities for diagnostics, local care delivery, accessing innovation and meeting national ambitions for cancer.
It is bringing together key stakeholders to assess progress on meeting the national targets set for cancer in the NHS Long Term Plan.
We also expect discussion to focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those affected by cancer, their diagnosis and treatment and what can be learned for the future from steps that the NHS is taking to enable patients to continue treatment and have check-ups.
It comes with NHS England warning people still to come forward if they have any concerns around cancer symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic amid reports of a significant proportion of service users having worries around getting help.
- Meeting national ambitions for cancer care, the impact of COVID-19 and priorities going forward;
- Developing Cancer Alliances - progress, integrated care and implementing five-year plans;
- Priorities for cancer screening and prevention - accountability, accessibility and reducing inequalities;
- Cancer diagnosis and care in England - progress of Rapid Diagnostic Centres, workforce priorities, meeting diagnostic capacity and delivering personalised care;
- Assessing the next steps for improving less survivable cancer outcomes;
- Increasing access to innovative cancer research and technologies - the use of genomics and AI, building trust, developing adoption and the role of regulation; and
- Progress of the Cancer Drugs Fund and next steps for improving access to cancer drugs.
Developments that are relevant to the discussion:
- The NHS Long Term Plan targets for cancer, including:
- the introduction of a faster diagnosis outcome at the start of this year,
- the ambition that by 2028 three quarters of cancers will be diagnosed at stage 1 and 2,
- every patient being able to access personalised care by 2021, with an assessment of their specific needs, a care plan and wellbeing support, and
- accelerating the process of innovation, making better use of data and new technologies, and reducing variation.
- Cancer screening:
- Development of a quality of life measure for cancer patients by NHS England expected shortly;
- Publication of models on excess mortality affecting people with cancer and comorbidities caused by disruption to cancer treatment and diagnosis due to COVID-19 pandemic; and
- The recent report from NHS Providers which shows concerns about the drop in GP referrals for cancer diagnoses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Health Secretary announcing that areas of urgent care which had been postponed, including cancer, will start to be restored.
The discussion in detail:
- The COVID-19 pandemic - its impact on cancer patients, and on managing care and treatment, and how clinicians and care systems are dealing with the challenges, including:
- innovation in the ways of making sure patients still receive treatments whilst keeping isolated,
- planning for how the NHS manages to deliver cancer procedures that get rescheduled,
- how the backlog is prioritised and dealt with as the situation is ongoing,
- the strategies used to meet all referral targets for suspected cancer diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuring the appropriate referrals are made, and
- learning from how cancer patients have been supported during the pandemic, including progress of the COVID-free hubs and use of remote support with closure of support centres.
- Cancer Alliances - their progress in providing cancer care across local areas, as Alliances are publishing their 5-year implementation plans, looking at:
- networked care and linking services,
- examples of best practice, and
- priorities for implementing the Alliance plans going forward.
- Integrated care systems - their development around the country, with discussion expected on:
- what integrated care looks like for cancer,
- the relationship between the NHS and local government, and
- priorities for social care.
- Cancer screenings - and improving accessibility, in the context of the independent review by Professor Sir Mike Richards, with discussion expected on:
- the governance and accountability of the programme, with the recommendation that this should be done solely by NHS England and NHS Improvement,
- practicalities involved in meeting the target set in the NHS Long Term Plan that by 2028 the NHS will diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2, attendees, looking at:
- making screenings more convenient including timing, location, and public communication, and
- the challenges for implementation and how they can be overcome.
- tackling health inequalities in relation to cancer, including:
- how to improve cancer outcomes for people who are deprived and less likely to attend screenings, and
- ways of reducing variation in different areas.
- Cancer diagnosis - and achieving national ambitions in this area, looking at:
- the roll out of Rapid Diagnostics Centres, including:
- progress in their establishment,
- the delivery of faster diagnosis and making the process of diagnosis more effective, and
- the patient experience using the Centres.
- the new diagnosis standard for patients introduced as part of the NHS Long Term Plan at the start of the year, which aims for a definitive diagnosis outcome within 28 days, looking at:
- early indications on progress and any further steps that need to be put into place to meet and maintain the standard, including dealing with the impact of COVID-19,
- priorities for the workforce and diagnostics industry in delivering the capacity required, and
- progress in the delivery of personalised care plans.
- approaches that can be taken to measure quality of life and what this looks like for cancer patients in the short term from diagnosis to more long term.
- Less survivable cancers - and the treatment of patients, including:
- priority areas for investment,
- prevention, and promoting earlier diagnosis through increasing awareness of symptoms,
- focused research, and
- more efficient access to treatment.
- Cancer research and innovation - and addressing barriers to widespread adoption, with areas of discussion including:
- artificial intelligence and similar areas of innovation, looking at:
- capturing their use of in treating and diagnosing cancer,
- the opportunities for areas such as precision medicine, and
- encouraging trust in the technology, both for cancer clinicians and patients.
- genomics - following the announcement last year that the NHS will offer genome sequencing to people with certain cancers and rare diseases, attendees will consider:
- how this has progressed and been responded to so far,
- the benefits that a personalised treatment has been able to offer, and
- the opportunities for progressing the role of genomics in the future.
- speeding up the process of adopting research, looking at:
- regulation of clinical trials,
- approaches to drug pricing, and
- how best to balance regulation, standards, patient safety and fast access to innovative treatment in order to improve cancer outcomes.
- the Cancer Drugs Fund - progress and the next steps for improving access to cancer drugs.
Policy officials attending:
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.
Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from NHS managers and organisations, other stakeholders involved in public health, local authorities and community groups, healthcare professionals, representatives of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, academics and commentators, charities and service user groups, and others with an interest in the important issues being discussed, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
- information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
- conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
- speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
- opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
- a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
- delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
- networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!
Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference