20 August 2014
Cancer survivor Sarah Johnson, with her family, who is supporting the Partnership's work.
A partnership of local health organisations including Macmillan have announced a one-million-pound investment to radically transform cancer care in the area.
The Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen is a pioneering three-year programme to provide better care and support for cancer patients from the moment of diagnosis to beyond treatment.
The project is being set up to address the high cancer incidence and mortality rate in the area. In some parts of East Lancashire the cancer mortality rate is 40% higher than the national average, with 10% more cancer diagnoses in some areas than elsewhere in the country.
The figures have been attributed to a range of factors, from how soon people go to their doctor with symptoms, to lifestyle choices such as exercise and smoking, as well as post-treatment care - and these will be the main focus of the Partnership’s work.
Comprising of Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Lancashire County Council, the Partnership aims to embed best practice within all aspects of cancer care across primary, acute and community settings.
A range of new services will be set up including a community cancer information and support service, a physical activity programme and a package of support for patients when treatment ends.
The Partnership will also work closely with all 90 GP practices in the area to improve cancer awareness and early diagnosis to help people like Sarah Johnson, 29, from Accrington, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer after her first smear test aged just 25. She's supporting the Partnership as a patient representative.
Jeremy Such, Macmillan's Development Manager for Lancashire, said:
'I’m very excited about this Partnership and the project we’re undertaking to transform cancer care in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen. The project will provide better care and support for people affected by cancer at every stage, from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. We want to improve outcomes for patients and deliver a better patient experience so that no one faces cancer alone.'
Read more about the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership in the Lancashire Telegraph.