Issue 2, Spring 2022

Welcome to the second edition of our Greater Manchester Cancer User Involvement newsletter.

We hope you enjoyed issue one, and found it a useful way to keep in touch with the work that’s been going on. As you all are aware, we’re looking at how we can do things better, and in our recent survey, better communication was asked for. You asked, and we said let’s improve.


We hope you find the update useful and informative, and we’d welcome your feedback and input. Please get in touch with Jess or Sinead if you have anything you’d like to mention.


Spotlight on service user banner

Mike Molete
Service User Representative / Carer Champion on the Acute Oncology Pathway Board

Mike has been a valuable member of the board for many years and constantly contributes to the values of the Acute Oncology (AO) Programme.  Mike is passionate about keeping us not only on track with considering the patient and carer voice in everything we do, but also has a keen eye for detail and is very supportive in ensuring that our programme documentation is as all-encompassing as it can be.  To name but a few areas, we have reflected Mike’s considerations in:

  • Our service recommendations which help evidence the value AO can bring to the network:
  • Consultant roles and responsibilities to start to standardise our provision across the network;
  • Risk register to ensure we are held to account;
  • Educational package to incorporate the psychological elements and impacts on all our patients and carers;
  • Cancer of the Unknown Primary (CUP) / Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT) reform work to enable consistency for those who will be applying, citing or referring to the guidelines. This also enables understanding of patient needs and wishes, enabling clinicians to act (with patient’s knowledge and consent) as a voice of that patient & family, ensuring that the best decision is made on their behalf.

At our clinical leaders interview, Mike noted the importance of knowing :

  • How clinical leads will promote positive engagement/co-production of/with people affected by cancer and/or;

  • How will they develop strength-based approach in support of PABC engagement including harmonising services used by patients & carers, and/or;

  • How clinical leads will continue to plan, develop and assess the quality and the quantity of Patients and carers engagement in the pathway board?”  This is continually reflected on throughout our working practice.

Dr Konstantinos Kamposioras, AO Clinical Lead – ”Mike adds a useful perspective in the AO Board discussions and I really value his contribution to our projects. He has been very helpful to highlight areas needing improvement or clarity, and to make any suggestions from the AO group more user friendly. I am really grateful for his dedication and engagement.”


Louise Lawrence, AO Programme Manager – “Mike’s input is invaluable.  I appreciate all of the support he has continued to give in so many areas of our programme. I love that he is passionate and that he can challenge things but in such a fabulously empathetic and articulate way. Thank you Mike.”

Cancer Alliance Successes

NHS-Galleri Trial

In the Greater Manchester Cancer User Involvement Friday email, we have included some information on the NHS-Galleri trial and would like to provide you with an update.

As a reminder, the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance is supporting recruitment to the NHS-Galleri trial, which aims to evaluate a new test which uses a single blood sample to test for over 50 types of cancer and is designed to be used alongside other cancer screening tests. This trial aims to support the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan to increase the proportion of cancers diagnosed at early stage from 50 to 75% by 2028. By screening blood samples of participants who are showing no symptoms of cancer, it is expected that this trial will identify patients who may have early stage cancer who can then be investigated and treated appropriately, with the prospect of better long term outcomes.

We are one of eight Cancer Alliances involved nationally with the first participants recruited into the trial from Greater Manchester in October 2021. The trial aims to recruit around 20,000 members of the public from GM, with participants being aged 50-77, from diverse backgrounds with no history of cancer within the last 3 years.

The screening unit has now completed its run at Oldham, Salford, Manchester, Trafford, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and is currently live in Wigan (until the end of March 2022).  Participants will be recruited from all ten Greater Manchester localities and it is anticipated that this will be completed by the end of June 2022. Where a locality has access to a Rapid Diagnostic Centre, the referrals are being managed by these teams in the first instance. Already, we have seen a number of participants referred on a two week wait pathway for investigation with Cancer-Signal Origins identified from their bloods.

We would like to thank all the Service User Representatives for their initial input into this project.

Galleri Trial website

Royal Visit to Prehab4Cancer


HRH The Princess Royal visits Prehab4Cancer

The Prehab4Cancer team were delighted to receive a visit from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal in December. Her Royal Highness attended within her role of Patron of the Royal College of Occupational Therapsits, something that was possible due to the P4C Programme Lead being Occupational Therapist Zoe Merchant.

The visit took place at Worsley Leisure Centre, where some of our participants were able to attend and demonstrate with the team how the prehab programme helps prepare patients for their cancer treatment. 

Tony Collier and Steve Sweeney, who have been patient reps for Prehab4Cancer and a huge part of designing the programme, were both able to meet Her Royal Highness.

Tony said ‘It was such a pleasure to meet HRH Princess Anne and tell her about our work as service users in the development of Prehab4Cancer in GM. I truly believe that her visit really endorses the programme and gives it even more credibility. From a personal viewpoint it was a real thrill and very exciting to be involved in the visit’, and and Steve said ‘ It’s been a privilege to support the prehab for cancer programme and the amazing difference it’s made and continuing to make for patients’ lives in Greater Manchester. Meeting Princess Anne with the Prehab team was a tremendous honour’.

Annual Report

Our next Annual Report will cover a two year period for the years 2020 and 2021. This is slightly different to our usual format and the decision was made to support our teams during the thick of the pandemic to ensure their main focus was on keeping cancer services going for our patients. The new report is expected to be published by the end of March.

The report will cover a number of projects and highlights, with feedback from our clinical and UI teams.

Team News header

As we start work on a number of new projects, we have several new recruits to the GM Cancer team to introduce to you:

Isaac Allen, Project Manager, Direct patient access chest xray programme

Isaac Allen

I grew up and trained as a Therapy Radiographer in Australia and came over to the UK in 2005 where I met my lovely wife. I have worked at The Christie since 2006 and was lucky to be involved in the development of the Proton Therapy service since 2016. My new role with GM Cancer will be as a Project Manager looking to develop a pathway to allow self-referral for Chest X-Rays (CXRs) which is hoped to deliver the patient benefit of easier access in terms of location and availability to CXR. This will allow increased numbers of CXRs to be performed and potentially more earlier lung cancer diagnoses. I am very excited in this new role, as improving cancer survivorship is something I am very passionate about, and am looking forward to working closely with service users to deliver this pilot project.

Sarah Lyon, Project Manager, pathway improvement

Sarah Lyon

I joined the GM Cancer team in mid-December 2021 as a Project Manager, to manage lung pathway improvements, mainly supporting the implementation of the new lung cancer service at Wythenshawe and consolidation of outpatient capacity across Greater Manchester. I have worked at The Christie for 3 years as part of the Trust’s transformation team, supporting clinical and operational staff to roll out projects and improvement work. Prior to working at The Christie, I worked as a Project Manager at Haelo, an improvement organisation that is part of Salford Royal. I am currently enjoying undertaking an apprenticeship in improvement leadership. In my spare time I go on lots of walks with my Miniature Schnauzer, Ralph ?.

Louise Lawrence, GM Cancer project manager

Louise Lawrence

I joined Greater Manchester Cancer in 2018 through a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.  I started working for the NHS via The Christie in 2008. My experience is within both private and public settings. My previous role was as a Macmillan Acute Oncology Programme Manager, but in February, I moved over to Digital & Innovation Transformation; an exciting opportunity which is a trial Partnership between Greater Manchester Cancer, Health Innovation Manchester & Macmillan Cancer Support for a 6 month pilot.

This role will work with a wide-ranging group of stakeholders and will be required to identify barriers and overcome them to deliver innovation for our NHS system. It is important to be connected to a movement where you can impact positive change and help be a voice in what many would see as quite a challenging system.  I love that we are also so engaged with you, the patient and carer voice.  You bring the heart into everything we do.

Greater Mancunians Project

Susannah Penney, Associate Director of GM CancerSusi Penney, our Associate Medical Director, has been selected to feature as part of the “Greater Mancunians” project – a student-led landmark project photographing the people who have shaped Greater Manchester for the greater good. This is an online project which has plans to materialise into a city-centre exhibition in 2022/23. Susi is rubbing shoulders with some household names and flying the flag for the NHS / cancer services and we couldn’t be prouder of her.

You can see the project online here:

Farewell from Jane

Jane Cronin, User Involvement Manager

As many of you know, I have recently changed my role with Greater Manchester Cancer and I am now a Pathway Manager.  I am excited about this new role but wanted to say what a huge privilege it has been for me to be able to support you all to share your stories of living with cancer and to use your experience and expertise to influence improvements to cancer services across Greater Manchester.  There has been lots of laughter and a few tears along the way but you have all brought something powerful to the work we do and your honesty and integrity will stay with me.  I promise I will take a piece of you all into my future work and always keep service users first and foremost in my mind.

I’m sure our paths will continue to cross but my heartfelt thanks to you all for helping me to develop and grow and teaching me along the way.

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Greater Manchester Cancer Website Update

screengrab of new gmc website

We’re excited to say that you’re now viewing this newsletter from our new website. Whilst it is live we’re still working on final tweaks over the next month or so before we start really telling everyone about it during April. 

We’d love your feedback, and we’re also going to be looking for a few volunteers to help out with some user testing, so keep an eye on the Friday email for more news on this. 

GM Cancer Podcast

Our podcast (born in July 2021) was created to share the work going on with our wider Greater Manchester Cancer workforce, giving insight into the roles that the many different fantastic people within this have. Our host, presenter Steve Bland (from the BBC Podcast You, Me and the Big C) focuses on a different topic for each episode. So far, we have covered the impact of Covid-19 upon cancer services, progress of the NHS-Galleri Trial, and success of the HPV vaccine and what this means for other cancer types. A number of our service users have contributed to the podcast and we would like to thank them for sharing their experiences. 

For World Cancer Day on 4th February this year, we produced 2 episodes: 

Episode 1: The next 12 months in cancer research

Steve Bland looks ahead to the next 12 months in cancer research with Professor Rob Bristow, director of the  Manchester Cancer Research Centre. They discuss spatial technologies, repurposing drugs and the importance of inclusion in clinical trials.


Episode 2: Closing the care gap in Greater Manchester

Steve looks ahead to the next 12 months in Greater Manchester and explores the ground-breaking projects designed to transform patient pathways, in the company of Lisa Galligan-Dawson, Performance Director at GM Cancer. Steve also speaks to Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves from Prehab4Cancer to find out what drives her to make a difference.


Over to you header image

David McLenachan

David has worked for many years as a service user representative with Greater Manchester Cancer and more recently within digital transformation. David gives us a brief overview and introduction to his role, what he has been involved in, what this has meant to him and what other opportunities this has led to. We pass on our appreciation and thanks to David for all he has done and continues to do.

Jo Taylor

Jo Taylor from abcdiagnosis and member of the Greater Manchester Breast Pathway Board has a grant to support patients with primary or secondary breast cancer for them to be trained as a British Nordic Walking instructor. The areas they need to cover are Altricham, Blakley, Broughton, Bury, Eccles, Gorton, Heywood, MiddletoJo Taylor Nordic Walking Groupn, Makerfield, Salford and Withington. We are looking to support another 7 patients, one from each of the areas above, so that we get coverage to support patients. We already have support of 13 Instructors across Greater Manchester.

The idea is that they deliver 2 short sessions per week, one through the daytime and one early evening to support patients who are or not in employment. These would be only around an hour long. The benefits for Breast Cancer patients are quite extensive with improved arm strength, improved lymphatic drainage after Breast Cancer, and generally Nordic Walking gives benefits of increasing aerobic capacity, reducing upper body fat and can help to provide a full body work out and reduce Body Mass Index(BMI) and total body fat.  It gives faster results for weight loss than normal walking. Please contact Jo ( for any further information. You can also download the poster here.

Your Thoughts

As this is the second newsletter we have produced, we would love to hear what you think. The newsletter will be produced every 6 months and will feature lots of different topics to update you. To ensure we are covering areas that you are interested in, we have put together a survey of 5 short questions which should approximately take 2 minutes to answer. We would really appreciate if you could fill this survey out to let us know what you liked, disliked, and anything that we can improve on for future versions of the newsletter. The deadline for the survey is 1st June 2022.


As always, we really appreciate your time, effort and contributions and look forward to working with you all in the New Year, from the entire team at Greater Manchester Cancer.