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About us

The Thames Valley Cancer Network consists of 6 PCTs and seven acute providers and covers a population of 2.3 million. There are 305 practices across the Thames Valley and 11 Clinical Commissioning Groups. Each of the 28 Cancer Networks in England has received Department of Health funding for projects to support primary care. All projects run along the same timeframe and will be part of an external evaluation led by Greg Rubin Professor of General Practice from the University of Durham and the National Cancer Action Team with a final report to be published in November 2012. The online community is designed to support practices involved in the Thames Valley Cancer Network Project.

The Thames Valley Cancer Network has a history of effective support for providers and commissioners alike and has the breadth of knowledge to support the commissioning of appropriate, evidence based cancer services.

The Cancer Network’s programme is determined by national guidance, in particular ‘Improving Outcomes – A Strategy for Cancer’ published in 2011. The Network also has a responsibility to work with provider organisations and commissioners to deliver services that are compliant with Improving Outcome Guidance (IOG) to achieve good patient outcomes, which in turn are monitored via the National Peer Review Programme and the National Cancer Action Team. In addition, the Network works with its constituent organisations to promote research, to develop and implement new diagnostic interventions, treatments and technologies.

Early Diagnosis of Cancer

In spring 2011 (March 7th – April 14th) we delivered a major, network-wide campaign to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel and lung cancer. This resulted in a 27% increase in detection of bowel cancers and an increase in 2 week wait referrals for Lung and Bowel Cancer.

Our Early Diagnosis Saves Lives campaign was one of the first in the country and helped influence the Department of Health’s ‘National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative’ (NAEDI). This in an ongoing programme and a key part of the Government’s strategy Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer which includes the call from Professor Sir Mike Richards, National Clinical Director, “The main reason our survival rates lag behind other countries is because too many people are diagnosed late. This is why our Strategy focuses on earlier diagnosis which we will achieve through raising the public’s awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and also providing better access to diagnostic tests. But improving outcomes for people with cancer isn't just about improving survival rates. It is also about improving patients' experience of care and the quality of life for cancer survivors and our Strategy also sets out how that will be tackled.”

As well as explaining the main symptoms of bowel and lung cancer, the campaign urged people to go to their GP if they had any of them as soon as possible.

We partnered with two national charities to help us get the important messages across: Beating Bowel Cancer and The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. This gave us a great opportunity to share experiences and skills, as well as widening the reach of the campaign through other routes – like local employers. We have now developed materials in other languages (Hindi, Urdu, Nepalese, Polish already available with ‘easy read’ and Chinese currently being developed). Activities relating to this campaign can be found on our website www.tvcn.nhs.uk/early-diagnosis

The Programme Lead for this work at the Network is Jenny Jones who will be your main contact for this project Jenny.jones@tvcn.nhs.uk  Mobile; 07852193571.