Westminster Health Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

Cancer prevention, care and research in England - priorities for diagnostics, local care delivery and accessing innovation

September 2020

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is bringing together stakeholders to examine key current issues for cancer care, prevention and research in England  and assess progress on meeting the national targets set for cancer in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The discussion at a glance:

  • priorities for diagnostics
  • local care delivery
  • accessing innovation
  • meeting national ambitions for cancer


  • the impact of the pandemic on those affected by cancer, their diagnosis and treatment
  • steps that the NHS has been taking to enable patients to continue treatment and have check-ups
  • what can be learned for the future - including from innovation and its adoption to help cope with the crisis

Relevant developments at a glance:

  • COVID-19 - significant impact on waiting times for screening, treatment and tests, and referrals and diagnosis - and resulting excess mortality affecting people with cancer and comorbidities
  • Restoration of services - restarting  areas of urgent care which had been postponed, including cancer, and new Nightingale hospitals being converted into cancer testing centres
  • NHS Long Term Plan - targets for cancer including faster and earlier diagnosis, access to personalised care, accelerating innovation, better use of data and new technologies, and reducing variation
  • Cancer screening:
    • Professor Sir Mike Richards’ Independent Review of Adult Screening Programme in England
    • Advancing our health: Prevention in the 2020s, which included the future vision for cancer screening
  • Quality of life - development of a measure for recovering cancer patients by NHS England

The discussion in detail:

Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic

The impact on cancer patients and on managing care and treatment - and what can be learned from how clinicians and care systems are continuing to deal with the challenges:

  • innovation - in making sure patients still receive treatments whilst keeping isolated
  • planning - delivering rescheduled cancer procedures
  • the backlog - how it is being prioritised and dealt with
  • referral targets - strategies used to meet all referral targets for suspected cancer diagnoses
  • support - with soaring demand for help with mental wellbeing, and progress of the COVID-free hubs and use of remote support

Cancer Alliances

Progress in providing care across local areas looking at: networked care and linking services, best practice, and priorities for implementing the Alliance 5-year implementation plans


Improving accessibility, in the context of Professor Sir Mike Richards’ independent review:

  • governance and accountability of the programme - with the recommendation that this should be solely by NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • targets - practicalities involved in - by 2028 - diagnosing 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2
    • convenience - including timing, location, and public communication
    • implementation - the challenges, and how they can be overcome
  • health inequalities - how they can be tackled in relation, including reducing geographical variation and improving outcomes for people who are deprived and less likely to attend screenings


Achieving national ambitions:

  • using new government support - aimed at earlier and more accurate diagnoses for conditions including oesophageal and bowel cancer, and cancer relapse - and using AI and other technologies
  • Rapid Diagnostics Centres - progress in rollout and delivery of faster and more effective diagnosis - and the patient experience using the Centres
  • the new standard for diagnosis - introduced as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which aims for a definitive diagnosis outcome within 28 days:
    • progress - early indications and any further steps for meeting and maintaining the standard - including with the impact of COVID-19
    • capacity - priorities for the workforce and diagnostics industry in delivering what is required
    • personalised care plans - progress in delivery

Less survivable cancers

Treatment with more efficient access, priority investment areas, prevention and promoting earlier diagnosis through increasing awareness of symptoms, and focused research

Research and innovation

Addressing barriers to widespread adoption:

  • trust - both for cancer clinicians and patients - encouraging acceptance of artificial intelligence and similar areas of innovation for treating and diagnosing cancer
  • genomics - progress on plans to offer genome sequencing to people with certain cancers and rare diseases - what it means for personalised treatment and further future opportunities for innovation
  • adoption - speeding up the process, looking at: clinical trial regulation, drug pricing, progress with the Cancer Drugs fund, and balancing regulation, standards, patient safety and fast access

The agenda:

  • Meeting national ambitions for cancer care, the impact of COVID-19 and priorities going forward
  • Developing Cancer Alliances - progress, best practice 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
  • Progress of the Cancer Drugs Fund and next steps for improving access to cancer drugs

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This conference is no different. Places have been reserved by officials from the DHSC; the MHRA and The Scottish Government.

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

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles