High quality, modern services

Achieving the very best outcomes will depend on the effort, dedication and passion of every part of the health and care service.

The change that we seek to make to patient outcomes will only be possible with a sustained focus on making sure we can deliver a high quality, modern service that meets the complex needs of patients.

The NHS should be at the cutting edge of technology and clinical innovation, and this work will help to make sure that we are delivering the world-class services that patients need.

Our priorities for 2016/2017 are:

  • In 2016, we will develop a clinical service and resource model for modern radiotherapy services, and by December 2016 we will produce a revised radiotherapy service specification to put the model into practice.
  • We will develop surgery service configuration recommendations in line with the evidence base by June 2017.
  • By March 2017, we will develop proposals to improve the transition of patients between child and adult services. By September 2016, we will develop a proposal to ensure that all children, teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer are asked at diagnosis for consent for their data and a tissue sample to be collected for use in future research studies.
  • The procurement for a new genomic laboratory infrastructure for the NHS in England will begin shortly, inclusive of acquired cancers. The mainstreaming of genomics into the NHS will be a central pillar of a Personalised Medicine Strategy which will be considered by the NHS England Board.
  • To support the delivery of a single commissioning model for molecular diagnostics, we will establish a reference group to identify tests that need to form part of a molecular diagnostic portfolio and to inform targeted therapeutic interventions. This will include prioritising new recommended tests, clarifying coding and pricing arrangements as appropriate, recognising the need to dovetail with the broader genomic developments in cancer.
  • By March 2017, NHS England will work with the National Institute for Health Research and the National Cancer Research Institute to build a programme of work to support better cancer research, in line with the Taskforce’s recommendations. Within the year we will also focus on establishing priorities for research on outcomes for older people with cancer, and supporting the research community to pursue these.
  • Building on the Taskforce report, Health Education England (HEE) will baseline the current state of the cancer and related workforce, identifying gaps and drivers for those gaps. We will use the baseline, along with a projection of the future planned workforce based on current demand, to address capacity issues by developing an action plan by September 2016, including any plans for international recruitment.
  • We will increase capacity in diagnostics, training a total of 200 non-medical endoscopists by 2018.
  • We will develop a vision by March 2017 for the future shape and skills mix of the workforce required to deliver a modern, holistic patient-centred cancer service, in particular focussing on the workforce needs highlighted in the review.

For more details, please see Achieving World Class Cancer Outcomes: Taking the strategy forward.