The Northern Cancer Alliance is dedicated to improving the patient experience and cancer outcomes.It views members of the public as equal partners and key to improving health inequalities and is committed to involving people at all levels of its work plan.
Partnerships between health professionals, patients, carers and the wider community can help to develop patient-centred services and improve cancer outcomes. Involving people in the development of NHS services benefits the healthcare system and provides opportunities for people to learn new skills, build relationships and develop confidence.
Defining the approach
The Alliance aims to use language that is easy to understand. It recognises that a number of different terms are often used to describe partnership working between health professionals and patients, their carers and families. The Alliance has adopted “public involvement” to describe all their partnership activities.
“Public” describes everyone living in the Alliance area affected or potentially affected, by cancer.
“Involvement” describes any partnership activities with the public to improve cancer outcomes and services. This includes:
- Providing information.
- Talking to people to understand their experiences and gain their views.
- Patients working in partnership with professionals to develop clinical pathways and wider NHS cancer services.
Reducing Health Inequalities
Reducing health inequalities means giving everyone the same opportunities to lead a healthy life, no matter where they live or who they are’. COVID-19 has shone a light on a range of health inequalities within our communities. These same inequalities are apparent within cancer diagnosis and mortality rates.
A primary function of all Cancer Alliances is to reduce inequalities in cancer experience and outcomes. To be successful they must develop services and interventions that are centred around the needs of the most vulnerable members of our communities.
The Alliance develops targeted approaches that seek to engage with those with the highest levels of risk. They aim to remove the barriers that can prevent the most vulnerable members of our communities from getting involved.
The Cancer Alliance works to reinforce partnerships with community organisations, identify community assets and strengths, and develop alternative ways of working that remove barriers and create equitable opportunities for involvement.