Our focus is on the earlier diagnosis of cancer, improving diagnosis and treatment, and supporting people affected by cancer. 

About us

Who are we?

The North Central London Cancer Alliance is an NHS organisation that works to innovate, coordinate and transform cancer services to support the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer for our local population. We cover the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington. We work with our partners including hospital trusts, GP practices, charities, healthcare commissioners, local councils and patients.

We are one of 21 Cancer Alliances in England, as set up by NHS England. Our priorities are focused on meeting the national targets for the early diagnosis and treatment of cancers, and developing pathways for treatment and tailored care for people with a cancer diagnosis.

We are hosted by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the north central London sector.

Background

The North Central London Cancer Alliance evolved from the National Cancer Vanguard programme established in 2015 by NHS England to look at exemplar ways to transform cancer care. At that time, the organisation spanned the geography across both North Central and East London and parts of Essex, and was called the UCLH Cancer Collaborative and then subsequently the North Central and East London (NCEL) Cancer Alliance. The UCLH Cancer Collaborative, as well as being part of the National Cancer Vanguard, was also the successor organisation to London Cancer, the integrated cancer system.

On 1 April 2020, NCEL Cancer Alliance reconfigured to form two new Cancer Alliances: North Central London and North East London. This new configuration enables a more targeted approach to the needs of the local population, and the North Central London Cancer Alliance works closely with North Central London integrated care system, led by North London Partners in Health and Care.

Aims and objectives

The Cancer Alliance is the system of healthcare commissioners, providers and patients that seeks to achieve the best cancer outcomes for the whole population of North Central London.

Our ongoing work can be summarised into three main areas. In addition, we play key role in supporting the recovery of cancer services in the area impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Encouraging presentation for early diagnosis

  • Enhance symptom awareness among the public
  • Meet national screening uptake targets
  • Maximise willingness to attend healthcare settings
  • Reduce inequalities in presentation and access for the local population

Optimising and reducing variation in diagnosis and treatment

  • Optimise symptomatic referrals from primary care and other healthcare settings
  • Sustainably delivery of operational standards
  • Delivery of national screening programmes
  • Clinical standards of care, including genomics
  • High quality patient experience
  • Make north central London a place of choice for cancer research

Provision of high-quality personalised support and care for all patients diagnosed with cancer

  • Ensure that all patients receive the same standard of care – health needs assessment, named care navigator, care plan
  • Implement stratified follow up to optimise support for patients post treatment
  • Improve the interfaces between care providers
  • Ensure appropriate rehabilitation services are available
  • Ensure psycho-social support for people living with cancer

Recovery of activity to pre-COVID-19 levels and resilience for further COVID-19 waves

  • Maximising capacity and efficiency of clinical services
  • Recovery of patient presentation, which fell due to COVID-19
  • Maximising  willingness to attend healthcare settings by creating safe and accessible pathways
  • Reducing inequalities in presentation and access caused or exacerbated by COVID-19

Addressing health inequalities

Our remit covers the whole cancer pathway from prevention, awareness and screening, through to diagnosis and treatment, as well as personalised care. Reducing health inequalities is a key priority and a cross cutting theme in all of these areas.

The Alliance set up the North Central London Cancer Inequalities Working Group. It has broad representation from the North Central London CCG, local hospital trusts, local authorities and a number of voluntary and charity sector organisations to address this priority.

The working group provides leadership and support to the Alliance and its partners to coordinate planning to address health inequalities across the cancer pathway to improve patient outcomes. It supports work that identifies key communities experiencing poorer outcomes, highlights where particular focus needs to be paid, and where gaps in service planning and provision need to be addressed. 

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