Expert reference group for the older person with cancer

The Expert Reference Group for the Older Person with Cancer (ERG) brings together patients along with health and social care professionals across the whole area of cancer care for older people.

Role and remit

The first of its kind, the ERG has been established to address poor outcomes in older people with cancer and is chaired by Dr Richard Simcock, a consultant clinical oncologist at the Sussex Cancer Centre.

The group provides expertise and independent evidence-based advice to Macmillan and informs our wider programme of work to address inequalities in cancer care in older people. It does this by facilitating the development of appropriate tools, guidance, evidence and expertise to ensure that the UK is able to deliver age friendly cancer care.

Influencing the cancer strategy

The ERG’s work had an important role in influencing the 2015 Cancer Strategy for England, and informed recommendations 41 and 42, which call for the development of a comprehensive cancer pathway for older people.


Three subgroups have been established with the following aims: 

  • Workforce subgroup (Chair: Professor Jackie Bridges) – Ensuring that the cancer workforce has the requisite skills mix needed to accommodate an expanding and ageing cancer population. This work will include a review of the current situation and evaluating what elements of the workforce composition, skills base and education, require reform. 
  • Assessment subgroup (Chairs: Dr Danielle Harari and Dr Tania Kalsi) – Scoping and developing a set of screening interventions for improving the identification of patients in need of a fuller geriatric assessment, along with the development of an assessment framework. 
  • Research subgroup (Chair: Dr Eva Morris) – Reviewing current data sets to support the work of the workforce and assessment subgroups and determining where gaps in data and linkages between data sets can be improved.

For more information

Secretariat of the group is provided by Transforming Health, who produce a regular newsletter with updates on ERG work and developments in geriatric oncology. If you would like to know more about this work or would like to subscribe to the newsletter please contact Andrew Jazaerli.