Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care update

Cancer EOLProgramme update – 25 November 2016
Stakeholder briefing

The Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care Programme launched in April 2013 with Cannock Chase, North Staffordshire, Stafford and Surrounds and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups forming a partnership to improve cancer and end of life care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The partnership also includes NHS England, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Public Health England and Macmillan Cancer Support as strategic partner.

Working extensively with patient groups and communities, commissioners have learned that there is good clinical care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, but services are not joined up and there is insufficient coordination between professionals and the different providers of care.

The aim of the programme is to integrate and coordinate services to improve patient experience. Since spring 2014 commissioners and patients have been working together in a procurement process to appoint two lead organisations, one for cancer care and the other for end of life care. The role of the lead organisations will be to act as service integrators by working with the current providers of care to improve communication and making sure that all services on the patient journey are joined up.

The primary focus of the programme is to change the processes, the systems and the pathways that patients with cancer or near the end of life follow in future, so they get a better clinical outcome: full recovery or longer life expectancy, better life quality or a dignified pain free death in a place of their choosing.

The cancer and end of life procurements were paused in January 2016, following the early termination of the Uniting Care Partnership contract in Cambridge. The Uniting Care contract has since been subject to a number of reviews and reports which are in the public domain.

Although the Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care Programme is different in many respects from the Uniting Care contract, there are a number of similarities. The programme has therefore during the pause been subject to a number of internal reviews through NHS England. These reviews have now concluded and NHS England has agreed to lift the pause on the programme. 

Commissioners are working on a plan to restart the process and the indicative timelines to complete both procurements. Patients will continue to be involved with the work of the programme and will work alongside commissioners as equal decision makers in meetings with bidders.