New clinical directors join the North Central London Cancer Alliance

Dr Clare Stephens GP

Derralynn Hughes and Clare Stephens were appointed as clinical co-directors of the North Central London Cancer Alliance from 1 September 2020. They succeed Professor Muntzer Mughal who held the position on an interim basis since January 2019 (alongside Dr Afsana Bhuiya up to Jan 2020).

Derralynn Hughes is Professor of Experimental Haematology at UCL and a Consultant Haematologist at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Most recently she was clinical director for haematology, oncology and palliative care and lead cancer physician at the Royal Free Hospital.

Clare Stephens is a GP partner at The Speedwell Practice in Finchley and has worked in clinical commissioning since 2002. She has held several portfolios for appraisal, acute commissioning, cancer, public health, women and child health, and a pan-London specialist commissioning role.   Past senior roles include a Clinical Directorship for Barnet Primary Care Trust, Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Governing Body and a pan London NHSE role in cancer.  Currently she is Clinical senior responsible officer for cancer for the North Central London integrated care system. Clare is a member of the North Central London CCG’s governing body.

They will provide clinical leadership to the North Central London Cancer Alliance, which was formed on 1 April 2020, succeeding the NCEL Cancer Alliance and will work alongside Naser Turabi (programme director) and Geoff Bellingan (Senior Responsible Officer and medical director for surgery and cancer at UCLH).

“We are so hugely grateful to Muntzer and Afsana. Firstly, they worked with us to ensure a smooth transition from one large alliance across north and east London into two separate organisations, while maintaining the progress we have made in cancer care and patient experience in recent years, said Geoff Bellingan, senior responsible officer for the North Central London Cancer Alliance and medical director for surgery and cancer at UCLH. “Then we faced this exceptional year as we rearranged patient pathways for cancer and set up partnerships for delivering surgery and other treatments through the COVID-19 pandemic. Their exemplary leadership has set us on a path to further progress and geared up our skills to work through a global crisis.”

“Clare and Derralynn are excellent colleagues and clinicians who will continue to help us develop the best cancer services we can, to serve the north central London community. I’m looking forward to working closely with them,” said Naser Turabi, North Central London Cancer Alliance programme director.

The North Central London Cancer Alliance is made up of all key stakeholders in cancer care in the region and hosted by UCLH. It is one of 21 Cancer Alliances in England whose purpose is to bring together all NHS stakeholders and the wider community to improve cancer outcomes in line the NHS Long Term Plan. Work in North Central London spans three main programmes: Prevention, Awareness & Screening; Diagnosis and Treatment; and Personalised Cancer Care. COVID-19 has brought new challenges for cancer services, and the imperative to work together and deliver transformation is greater than ever before.

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