Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation

New diagnostic models

Developing rapid cancer investigation units

We will test a new way of rapidly investigating patients with suspected cancer which will be based on the model of multidisciplinary diagnostic centre, or MDC. Patients will be closely involved in developing this service to ensure the individual’s experience is as good as it can be. The vast majority of those referred will know within a week whether or not they have cancer. Those with cancer will be rapidly referred to specialists, while those without cancer will receive appropriate treatment and tailored advice about their lifestyles.

Faster diagnosis

This project aims to shorten the time between a GP referral and a diagnosis. It will focus on three types of cancer – upper gastrointestinal (GI), lower GI and lung – and aims to give patients a confirmed diagnosis or exclusion of cancer within 28 days of a GP referral. The pilot is based in Bolton, with a view to providing recommendations on the expansion of this project across Greater Manchester and Cheshire, if successful.  The project aims to improve patient experience, reducing the time and anxiety around getting results and providing patients with the opportunity to move on to treatment sooner, or have a longer period of thinking time between diagnosis and treatment.

Patient self-referral

A large number of patients in Greater Manchester discover they have cancer only at a late stage when the disease is more difficult to treat. We will test a way for people to use a computer-based system to refer themselves to a health professional in a very measured way that involves weighing up the risks of developing cancer based on information about an individual’s lifestyle.

Digital pathology

We want to use the latest digital technology to improve the links between pathologists, who investigate laboratory samples, and the specialist team looking after those patients who have received a cancer diagnosis. We will start by testing the idea of digital pathology among pathologists at a number of sites across Greater Manchester. We want to help clinicians collaborate more effectively which will benefit patients by reducing the time it takes to reach a definite diagnosis.