Professor Andrew Wardley, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Medical Director of NIHR / CRUK, Christie Research Facility
Systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT), which is chemotherapy and other molecular-targeted treatments, have greatly improved the chances of surviving cancer in the last two decades. The Christie, the largest single site cancer centre in Europe, provides chemotherapy and targeted treatments to people through Greater Manchester and parts of Cheshire through the Greater Manchester Cancer SACT pathway.
In 2011 there was a major strategy to increase delivery of these treatments closer to where patients live; reducing the challenges they face to access treatment. The greatest challenge to improving access affects the more deprived and/or ethnically diverse parts of Greater Manchester.
The lack of access to innovative cancer treatments affects members of the population that are least able to navigate the healthcare system. This represents a patient safety issue.
We aim to reduce this social inequality and increase access to cutting edge cancer medicines by reaching all of Greater Manchester’s population. Specifically we will provide experienced cancer leadership to work with local health care and community teams to educate and facilitate access to the very best treatment innovations.
I have initiated the SACT research outreach project which is a programme of work aiming to work in partnership with neighbouring Trusts to increase the access to treatments closer to where patients live, reducing the challenges they face to access treatment.
Wigan have supported our team with this vision through the development of an integrated hub-and-spoke model for clinical trials provision. The aim is to open further hubs across neighbouring trusts across the North by 2021.
The benefits of this programme of work to our patients are;
1. Improved equity of access to a greater range of treatment options and clinical trials
2. Reduced travel burden, making access to trials and treatment easier.
3. Access to best possible care
4. Improved life chances.
5. Improved patient experience We are excited with the progress we are making, and are looking forward to having a further hub in Macclesfield, after the successes in Wigan in the working relationship and patient feedback.