Wednesday 2nd November 2016

You might remember that last July we were pretty excited about NHS England's new cancer strategy. The national plan included lots of plans for teenagers and young adults with cancer and even highlighted our own Education and Awareness Programme. NHS England have now published an update on what they've been doing to implement the strategy.

Key points from the 2015 strategy
  • Teenage Cancer Trust's Education and Awareness programme should be considered for rollout across the country
  • 50% of young people should be offered the chance to be included in a clinical trial by 2025
  • Transition to adult services should be improved
  • More should be done to collect evidence on patient experiences for under 16s
  • Post-treatment care for children and young people should be delivered appropriately


What does the annual report say?

The report is pretty broad, so it doesn't have a lot of detail in it, but what it does show is how much the cancer landscape is already changing as a result of the strategy. One of the major areas which the annual report focuses on is how important Cancer Alliances are going to be. These are going to be 16 local networks of cancer services, helping to deliver the overall strategy by planning pathways and working across different types of care. They'll help areas to improve, measure outcomes and make sure that they're engaging enough with the public.

What does it mean for teenagers and young adults with cancer?

Cancer Alliances are for cancer patients of all ages, but it's vital they recognise the specific needs of young people with cancer, especially as they're going to change the way that cancer services are organised and how people talk about patient experiences. This means they could be a great opportunity to spread the message about age-appropriate services and make sure that young people with cancer are given the care that they need.

What are we going to do?

Over the last year, our Policy team has been working hard to make sure that the messages around teenage and young adult cancer in the 2015 strategy aren't forgotten. We've been working with other charities and Public Health England to keep up the pressure and we'll carry on engaging with NHS England to make young people with cancer a priority. In the meantime, we'll be updating you with the progress we're making! If you've got any questions about our work, email us to get in touch!