Workforce and Education

Our ambition is to develop and grow the cancer workforce in Greater Manchester to ensure the workforce is representative, inclusive, and supported to respond to the needs of people affected by cancer, by adapting to new, improved ways of working, and embrace innovation and technology to deliver the best quality healthcare

Our Strategic Pillars

1 in 2 people are predicted to receive a diagnosis of cancer within their lifetime and so there is a need to upskill the whole of the health and care workforce to ensure Greater Manchester achieves the long-term plan ambition of earlier diagnosis and personalised care for cancer patients.

To achieve this one cancer workforce ambition and support the workforce to work both horizontally across place and vertically across the different sectors, some of our key pieces of work include:

  • Explore digital solutions to enable greater connectivity across the system to provide communities of practice, promote peer to peer support / sharing of best practice.
  • Pilot and evaluate blended roles in cancer care, including blended clinical and operational roles
  • Build on existing new roles that have been piloted, to expand to other professional groups or to scale and spread across the system
  • Pilot Cancer fellowship programmes across primary and secondary care
  • Explore innovative / integrated workforce solutions to support the delivery of the Best Practice Timed Pathways (BPTP) in order to achieve the Faster Diagnosis Standard and provide seamless personalised care for cancer patients
  • Rollout non-medical referral training for Practice Nurses and other professional groups where appropriate.

Our Activity

Growing the workforce to keep pace with the growing demand for cancer services is essential to addressing the cancer workforce crisis, however, ensuring the current workforce has opportunities for personal development is equally as important if we want people to stay. Key pieces of work have been established to address the following:

Attract new health and care staff through innovative ways:

  • Work with other professional groups to support promotional campaigns to raise the profile of careers in cancer and make links with GM Access and Step ahead programmes to promote future careers in cancer
  • Link in with education providers (Higher Education Institutes, Colleges, and Schools)
  • Promote using the ACCEND framework to support the development of generalists who have an interest in a career in cancer

Recruit more people into cancer by developing clear routes into professions and opportunities for generalist roles:

  • Promote and coordinate the ACCEND training programmes to upskill aspiring cancer support workers / nurses / AHPs to support future recruitment
  • Promote inclusive recruitment through the Addressing Inequalities Programme
  • Targeted project to scope and promote the role of the Advanced Clinical Practitioner in cancer

Retain the cancer workforce by providing support / mentorship, investing in education and providing opportunities for lifelong learning:

  • Align with the GM Retention Strategy and support planned activity led by the ICP
  • Collaborate with the GM NHS Integrated Care Virtual Workforce Information System (VWIS) team to collate system wide cancer workforce data, including retention data, surgical audit, and Medical & Clinical Oncology workforce review.
  • Support implementation of the ACCEND capability framework to promote retention through continuous professional development
  • In alignment with ACCEND, support the implementation of the National Acute Oncology competency passports to upskill all relevant workforce groups working across primary and secondary care
  • Expand the GM Cancer Academy to ensure it acts as a single point of access for all cancer education with an established Cancer Academy Faculty of subject matter experts to support the development and delivery of education

Our Activity

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our workforce and is a key factor influencing individuals’ decisions to stay.  There is a plethora of resources available at an organisation / system level and so the role of the Alliance is to promote these resources, promote cancer education offers to the cancer workforce to ensure equity in access, and to identify any gaps. Some of our key pieces of work include:

  • Promote existing health and wellbeing offers to the cancer workforce through a dedicated directory on the GM Cancer website and work with the ICB People and Culture Function to measure the uptake and impact of current wellbeing offers specifically within the cancer workforce
  • Utilise and expand Cancer Workforce Days to provide an opportunity to celebrate the workforce, promote joint identity, and ensure the workforce feel valued
  • Promote a lifelong learning culture through The GM Cancer Academy and Education Collaborative by influencing the system to ensure all health and care staff have protected time for education and training
  • Explore current offers to support staff who are carers, to promote their wellbeing and ensure their needs are being met.

Our Activity

One of the key ambitions in the NHS People Plan is ‘Belonging to the NHS’ focusing on inclusion and reducing inequalities within the workforce. It cites strong evidence for promoting an NHS workforce representative of the community that it serves, as findings suggest patient care and the overall patient experience is more personalised and patients have better outcomes.

The GM Cancer Alliance Workforce and Education Team has established a system-wide Cancer Workforce Inequalities Working Group, which will work collaboratively with the ICB Health Equity Team, feeds directly into the GM Cancer Health Inequalities Board as an active subgroup and forms part of the GM Cancer Tackling Health Inequalities Strategy.

Inequalities will be a cross cutting theme across all strategic activity, supported through a programme Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) in addition to project specific EIAs.  There will also be a dedicated EDI workforce programme, which we anticipate will evolve significantly during the next 12 months as the ICP EDI function matures.

Initial activity includes:

Increasing diversity within the cancer workforce

  • Work with the GM VWIS Team to understand current workforce race equality data as part of the workforce data pilot
  • Pilot race equality interventions to increase representation of the cancer workforce
  • Promote inclusive recruitment practices utilising learning from previous projects outside of cancer
  • Signpost and promote ICP recruitment guides to cancer workforce recruitment colleagues to ensure fair and equitable chances of success, and exploration of alternative entry routes to attract diverse talent
  • Work with pathway boards to ensure diverse and inclusive representation from the different professional groups.

GM Cancer Workforce Health Messaging

  • Work in collaboration with key partners and the GM Cancer Early Diagnosis programme to promote and encourage the cancer workforce to live well and engage with health promotion campaigns / programmes, including but not limited to:
  • Make Smoking History
  • Making Every Contact Count (MECC) for Menopause
  • Cancer Screening Campaigns

Tackling Inequalities Training

  • In collaboration with the LGBT Foundation develop a training module to enable the cancer workforce to have mutually empowering conversations with patients and ask inclusive questions
  • Support and expand the ConnectEDcare Project to ensure equitable access to EDI training
  • Work in collaboration with the Cancer Academy to develop a training package; Understanding and Supporting the role of the Carer, to enable staff to support carers and their wellbeing.

Our Activity

Our vision is to support the development of a sustainable lifelong learning model for cancer care across all care settings. We want to ensure that our workforce is equipped with the skills and tools necessary to deliver the best patient care. In order to reduce variation in cancer care, we want to make sure there is no inequity around accessing education.

Programme Governance

There is an established workforce and education programme board with a representative membership that meet bi-monthly to provide overarching governance for strategic delivery and reporting. The below infographic demonstrates the governance for strategic delivery and reporting, to view this infographic full size please click the image below.

Our People

Hi I’m Suzanne, the Programme Director for the Workforce and Education Programme at Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, leading the delivery of the GM Cancer Workforce and Education strategy.  I work with key stakeholders regionally and nationally to ensure Greater Manchester has a sustainable supply of medical and non-medical workforce to deliver safe and effective care for cancer patients.  The strategy aspires to embed a one workforce model for cancer, focusing on transforming the workforce through the introduction of new roles, new ways of working, and most importantly ensuring the workforce is supported through training and education.  I have led several regional and national workforce transformational programmes including one of the workstreams in the National ACCEND programme, first pilot of the role of the Physician Associate within cancer pathways, National Cancer CNS Day, Greater Manchester Cancer Academy just to name a few.  Suzanne has also worked at The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence working with Arm’s-Length Bodies to influence policy to improve provision of Health and Social Care.

My name is Jess and I am the Programme Lead for Workforce & Education, leading and supporting the team to deliver our programme of work. I lead specific pieces of work including MDT Reform, the Digital Staff Passport, and an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme to reduce inequalities within the Greater Manchester Cancer Workforce. 

My name is Molly and I’m the Senior Programme Lead for Education, heading up the GM Cancer Academy. I work across all care settings to improve access to cancer education to improve patient care, but also empower the workforce to take control of their own learning. As part of my role I chair the committee for the flagship Greater Manchester Cancer Conference.

My name is Claire Clarkson and I am a cancer workforce and education project manager within the team and leading on different various project linked to our workforce and education strategy. The current projects I am involved include ACCEND, Targeted Practice Education Programme (TPEP), GM PECE, Non-medical referrer training and I also work closely with our local cancer clinical nurse specialist groups ensuring our projects are workforce led. 

My name is Louise, I have been working at GM Cancer Alliance for nearly two years and lead the Cancer Support Worker Pilot across Primary Care Networks in GM. Previously, I led workforce projects including Multidisciplinary Team Reform and developing educational e-learning to support and upskill the workforce.

My background is a qualified Senior Therapeutic Radiographer with experience working in across the UK. I have a passion for personalised care and supporting patients through their cancer journey.

Hi my name is Siobhan, I joined the Workforce & Education team in Oct 2021 as a Project Support Officer. My role is to support the needs of the full team from assisting on projects, arranging meetings and helping plan events. I am assisting on current projects and hope to develop my project management skills in this role.

Hi my name is  Sam I’ve been part of the NHS since January 2020 working across Manchester with the Manchester Foundation Trust (MFT) and The Christie Foundation. I’m currently an Assistant Project Manager at the GM Cancer Alliance, Workforce & Education team, working on the Cancer Support Worker Pilot. My background and expertise cover data management where I am assisting the team in different projects and pathway boards. I have also taken an interest in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team within the alliance developing my awareness and knowledge further.

My name is Gina and I’m the Acute Oncology Education Project Manager working on a national project creating and piloting Acute Oncology Competence Assessment Passports across four levels of practice. I also work within the Cancer Academy Team as Clinical Practice Educator using my clinical background as an oncology nurse to support development of tumour group specific adaptations of the ACCEND framework amongst other educational projects. 

Hi, I’m Ellen, the Education Programme Support Officer for the Greater Manchester Cancer Academy. I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) in Event Management. I recently started with the alliance and will be supporting the delivery of projects such as Psychological Level 2 and the Cancer Academy Skills Labs. Prior to joining the alliance I worked within The School of Oncology supporting the delivery of various educational programmes and leading the marketing of the educational offerings.

Hi I’m Becky, the Cancer Education Manager for Greater Manchester Cancer Academy. I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BSc in Events Management. I started her career within cancer education in 2018 and worked on the School of Oncology’s education events team. I later progressed into a project management role with the PRECISE Proton Therapy Research Group at the University of Manchester. Within this role I helped lead the European Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation INSPIRE Project and was more recently involved with the EU canSERV Project. I recently joined the Greater Cancer Alliance and looks forward to being involved in the development of cancer education across GM.

My name is Sophie and I am the Team Administrator for Workforce and Education, I provide administrative support across the team as well as creating and posting social media content and helping to produce the monthly team newsletter.

My name is Tilly and I’m the Cancer Academy Education and Marketing Coordinator. I support the team in the organisation of all Academy events and the creation of social content. I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2022 with a BA in International Business and Marketing before joining The Christie School of Oncology where I assisted with a variety of educational programmes and events.

My name is Jack Quinn, I am a workforce and education project manager within the team and lead on various projects that align to our workforce and education strategy. The current projects I am involved in include the Physician Associate Boundary Spanning Pilot within primary and secondary care, conducting a workforce gap analysis for research nurses. I am also working on projects that help to raise the profile of a career in cancer working with partner organisations such as HEIs and Colleges to attract more staff into careers in cancer.

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