We have been gathering feedback from GPs and other primary care staff as part of our project to develop and pilot new models of aftercare for breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
The project forms a key part of the Living with and Beyond Cancer workstream of the Greater Manchester Cancer Plan 2017-21, which aims to offer all patients a more personal, self-management approach to aftercare services, including their own Recovery Package, by March 2019.
Local GPs and commissioners from across Greater Manchester attended our engagement event and heard a broad overview of the national Cancer Vanguard and Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation, the opportunities arising from this work and our targets as set out in the National Cancer Strategy and the Greater Manchester Cancer Strategy.
Since the outset of the project in April 2016, we have established project teams for breast, prostate and colorectal aftercare, with input from oncology, clinical nurse specialist teams, primary care, commissioning, Greater Manchester Cancer, Macmillan professionals, informatics and people affected by cancer.
We have also worked closely with colleagues at the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership (MCIP) in Manchester, University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) and Pennine Acute Trust (PAT) to support new aftercare pilots for early breast and colorectal cancers, including the implementation of a patient-tracking IT system, with further pilot sites planned for late 2017.
We are working with the Greater Manchester Cancer Pathway Boards for breast, urology (prostate) and colorectal cancer to redesign and agree the new models of aftercare, which will include stratified follow-up of patients and a standardised approach across Greater Manchester to the Macmillan Recovery Package, with a strong emphasis on empowering patients to self-manage.
The engagement event gave us valuable feedback on our plans. This included the need to review commissioning structures, especially in relation to sustainability of our programmes, to be careful about our use of language and communications with patients suitable for self-management and to ensure that we include plans for rapid re-access into treatment services when necessary. There was a lot of discussion around a key element of the Recovery Package – Health and Wellbeing events for patients and how these can be improved.
Our project teams will now incorporate the feedback and recommendations into our innovative work on transforming aftercare pathways.