In October 2014 the NHS in England published its strategy for the next five years (the Five Year Forward View). This strategy made it clear that new ways of organising NHS care would need to be developed in the coming years to meet the challenges faced by the NHS.

In the light of this strategy all NHS organisations were asked to put themselves forward to test some of these new ways of organising care (as so-called vanguards). At the same time, an independent cancer taskforce appointed by the NHS was publishing its recommendations, which included that a new way of providing cancer care under a single lead organisation for an entire region should be tested.

Greater Manchester’s NHS therefore sought to become a cancer vanguard to test this new way of organising cancer care across the region. After making its case to NHS England, Greater Manchester was successfully chosen along with partners in London as part of a national cancer vanguard.

This wider partnership with North and East London, led by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and South and West London, led by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, gives us the opportunity to work closely together to test the changes over a combined population of around 10 million.

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