We are collaborators working to develop and implement a different model of cancer care for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

We deliver this by: planning without walls, managing our resources as one budget, working collaboratively, and challenging the status quo.

We are committed to breaking down the organisational boundaries which are irrelevant to those affected by cancer. Our Alliance comprises of organisations who are responsible for commissioning and providing NHS services. These include: local council, charities and patient groups.

As an Alliance, we work with and through our localities who understand the challenges and the opportunities within the communities we serve. 

The Principles of the Cancer Alliance

The principles of the Cancer Alliance are based on our experience of collaborative working around cancer care in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

  • We recognise that we work for separate statutory organisations but that we will establish underlying principles and values to our decision-making to operate in patients’ best interests. 
  • We recognise that we need to develop the culture and change behaviour to deliver the shared vision and strategy.
  • Work to ensure personalised care.
  • We will reduce duplication and variation. 
  • We will radically upgrade our approach to prevention. 
  • We will encourage proactive innovation.

How do we operate to deliver these principles?

  • Ensure future cancer commissioning and provision is driven by patient outcomes rather than organisational priorities.
  • Engage a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Role model appropriate leadership behaviour to develop the right culture.
  • Integrate primary care and the development of their new structures.
  • Ensure real, honest engagement with people affected by cancer. 
  • Examine and challenge variation.
  • Honestly consider the impact of ageing and prevention on cancer policy locally. 
  • Design care pathways, particularly those requiring care delivered across multiple provider organisations. 
  • Utilise information and data to optimise the care for patients.
  • Recognise when a method is ineffective and strive to improve it..

Our challenges

Despite improvements, our rates of late stage cancer diagnosis continue to be below the national average. Although the foundations have been initiated to transform cancer services and outcomes there continue to be a number of key challenges:

• Incidence and mortality rates are significantly higher than average.
• Nearly two thirds of cancer diagnoses occur in the over 65s and this population are predicted to increase by about 20% over the next twenty years.
• Smoking rates are significantly higher than the England average despite significantly since 2010.
• Incidence and mortality rates from lung cancer are significantly higher than in England as a whole and disproportionately affect the most deprived groups. Despite this, the survival rate is as good as or better than average.
• Significant improvements have been seen in cancer survival over the last ten years for the majority of cancer sites, although some work is still to be done for specific cancers.
• One year survival is lower than the national average for cervical, colorectal and prostate despite having better than average uptake in cervical and bowel screening programmes.
• 1 in 2 patients are diagnosed at a late stage (3 & 4) with our rate being worse than the national average.
• More people are diagnosed through emergency presentation than the England average.
• Performance against the 62 day cancer waiting time standard is increasingly challenged and not always meeting the 85% operational threshold due to increased demand, diagnostic and workforce pressures.

How does our work fit alongside other health and care partnerships working in the region?

We work alongside the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS) who are responsible for ensuring that the care and services provided to their population are of the highest standard.

Cancer Alliances provide the clinical, operational and transformational leadership to the local cancer system by bringing together their constituent commissioners and providers on behalf of their ICSs, to ensure system-wide oversight and transformation of services and outcomes.

More specifically, our programme ambitions can be summarised as follows:

Fall in adult smoking rates 

13% by 2020 (21% in routine & manual workers)

One year survival

Increase to 75% by 2020

Ten year survival

57% surviving 10 years or more by 2020

Stage at diagnosis

75% cancers diagnosed at stage 1 or 2 and increase in proportion of cancers staged by 2028


75% uptake for bowel cancer screening

Personalised care

All patients to have access to personalised care by 2021

Risk Stratified Pathway

RSP to be offered to all clinically appropriate pathways by 2023

Access to Key Worker

All patients to have access to a CNS/ key worker

Achievement of Cancer Waiting Times

Faster diagnosis standard (day 28), 31 and 62 day targets