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

We want to deliver this by: Planning ‘without walls’; managing our resources as ‘one budget’; working collaboratively; challenging the status quo.

We are committed to breaking down the organisational boundaries which are irrelevant to those affected by cancer. Our Alliance comprises organisations responsible for commissioning and providing NHS services; local councils and other agencies who commission and provide social care and public health; national, regional and local charities; individual patients and patient groups.

As an Alliance, we work with and through our local ‘places’ who understand the challenges and the opportunities within the communities we serve. We focus on delivering transformational programmes of work that benefit from a system-level approach to support the best possible outcomes for patients.

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. 

  • To work as a single team, to act with common purpose to deliver high quality sustainable cancer treatment, care and prevention to the populations we serve. 

  • We recognise that we need to develop the culture and change behaviour to deliver the shared vision and strategy.
  • We promote system wide planning and action with structures and systems to support the delivery of a shared strategy, built on shared values.
  • Work to ensure personalised care.
  • Reduce duplication and variation. 

  • Radically upgrade our approach to prevention. 

  • We will encourage proactive innovation.
  • We will celebrate success together & stand together in the face of adversity.

How we operate to deliver these principles?

Based on these principles the Cancer Alliance will aspire to:

  • Ensure future cancer commissioning and provision is driven by patient outcomes rather than organisational priorities.
  • Make binding decisions on all organisations in the room-with clarity on authority and mandate. 

  • 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. 

  • Plan patient-centred cancer services for the population of the Cancer Alliance. 

  • 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 including qualitative intelligence e.g. Patient experience, staff experience.
  • Stop doing things that no longer work and are ineffective.

Our challenges

Despite improvements in one-year survival over recent year, our rates continue to be below the national average rate, there remains a higher incidence and there are significant variations in clinical outcomes. Although the foundations have been initiated to transform cancer services and outcomes there continue to be a number of key challenges:

• Incidence of cancer is rising in our Alliance in line with England – however mortality rates are falling. Incidence and mortality rates are significantly higher than average.

• Nearly two thirds of cancer diagnoses occur in the over 65s and the 65 and over population is predicted to increase by about 20% over the next twenty years.

•  Smoking rates are significantly higher than the England average but have declined significantly since 2010.

• By 2035 it is predicted that some 5,375 cancers could be prevented through lifestyle changes

• Incidence and mortality rates from lung cancer are significantly higher than in England as a whole and disproportionately affect the most deprived groups.

• Despite high incidence and mortality rates for lung cancer, survival 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.

• Screening uptake is significantly higher than the England average for all cancer screening programme.

• 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.

For more information see our priority work programme around cancer.

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


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