Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation

About us

Vanguard Innovation is the innovation arm of Greater Manchester Cancer, the cancer programme of Greater Manchester’s devolved health and social care system.

Our aim is to test innovations in cancer care to radically improve outcomes across Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire.

We are also part of the national Cancer Vanguard, a programme of work that tests out new models of cancer care which, if successful, will be introduced in other parts of the country.

Vanguard Innovation is spearheading this work in Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire. You can view a map showing all our projects in Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire here.

We have a number of priority areas:

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We will focus on prevention and the ways in which we can help people avoid getting cancer in the first place

We are supporting GPs with an education and training initiative which will help them more readily recognise possible cancer symptoms

We are exploring new ways to ensure patients receive an early diagnosis so that they benefit from a greater range of treatment options.

We are developing new aftercare services for people living with and beyond cancer. These services will be better tailored to the individual.

Vanguard Innovation is also working with a number of pharmaceutical companies to develop better use of cancer medicines in the interests of patients.We are exploring new ways to ensure patients receive an early diagnosis so that they benefit from a greater range of treatment options.

We are developing ways of managing and sharing crucial data about cancer.

We are also exploring the whole system of planning and paying for cancer services. We aim to develop a system, known as an Accountable Cancer Network, that will be more streamlined and efficient and deliver better services for patients.

Why were we set up?

NHS England published the Five Year Forward View in 2014, a strategy that showed how new ways of organising care would be needed to meet the challenges facing health and social care services. To develop this strategy, NHS England encouraged local healthcare teams across the country to propose innovative solutions to their challenges. Successful proposals became ‘vanguard’ programmes. An image showing two ladies talking

NHS England also commissioned a task force to examine cancer care and identify a number of priorities for action. These included radical improvements in prevention and public health and a national focus on achieving earlier diagnosis in cancer patients. The report can be seen here: Achieving World Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015-2020.

Greater Manchester took up the invitation to bid to become a vanguard site and submitted a proposal to NHS England in 2015. This bid was led by The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group and Manchester Cancer, a network of cancer specialists. The bid was successful and we were asked to form a national partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and University College Hospitals London NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH). This national programme is the Cancer Vanguard. Vanguard Innovation delivers the Greater Manchester element of the national programme.