International alliance sets bold research ambition to detect the (almost) undetectable

Cancer Research UK| October  2019 | International alliance sets bold research ambition to detect the (almost) undetectable

Developing radical new strategies and technologies to detect cancer at its earliest stage is the bold ambition of a new transatlantic research alliance, announced today by Cancer Research UK and partners.

Cancer Research UK is setting out a bold ambition to jump-start this under-explored field of research, collaborating with teams of scientists from across the UK and the US.

The International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, Canary Center at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, the OHSU Knight Cancer InstituteUCL and the University of Manchester.

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Scientists in the Alliance will work together at the forefront of technological innovation to translate research into realistic ways to improve cancer diagnosis, which can be implemented into health systems. Potential areas of research include: ​

  • Developing new improved imaging techniques and robotics, to detect early tumours and pre-cancerous lesions
  • Increasing understanding of how the environment surrounding a tumour influences cancer development
  • Developing less invasive and simpler detection techniques such as blood, breath and urine tests, which can monitor patients who are at a higher risk of certain cancers
  • Searching for early stress signals sent out from tumours or surrounding damaged tissue as a new indication of cancer
  • Looking for early signs of cancer in surrounding tissue and fluids to help diagnose hard to reach tumours
  • Harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence and big data to look for signs of cancer that are undetectable to humans.

As part of the Cancer Research UK’s early detection strategy, the charity will invest an essential cash injection of up to £40 million over the next five years into ACED. Stanford University and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute will also significantly invest in the Alliance, taking the total potential contributions to more than £55 million (Source: Cancer Research UK).

Full details of the project are available from Cancer Research UK

See also:

BMJ New UK and US research alliance aims to detect cancer earlier and improve screening

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Using the power of social media in screening

Warrington maternity unit is using Facebook instant articles to transform the way they share learning | via Public Health England

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This blog article explains how a colleague set up a closed Facebook group for continuous professional development (CPD) to:

  • communicate to a wider audience
  • share best practice
  • encourage learning
  • signpost educational opportunities

Initially there was a concern that staff would not take to this new method, because it’s something that people use primarily for leisure and downtime. However, the CPD group is an opt-in, which means people can also opt out, adjust their settings to avoid viewing updates or simply scroll past. So far, most staff have joined the CPD group and nobody has opted out. Currently 130 people are in the group.

Full article at Public Health England

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Better care for patients and service users

This report demonstrates how – in difficult circumstances – trust leaders and staff are coming up with ideas and solutions to deliver better care | NHS Providers

This is the first in a new publication series to promote the work of NHS trusts and foundation trusts in improving care.  This briefing focuses on how trusts have responded to feedback from the Care Quality Commission in a positive and systematic way, encouraging ideas that have made a difference for patients and service users.

The report Providers deliver: better care for patients considers both the leadership approaches and frontline initiatives that underpin improvements in quality. Through 11 case study conversations, it considers some of the frontline work that has contributed to trusts’ improvements in CQC ratings, as well as exploring the role of trust leaders in providing an enabling, supportive environment in which this work has been possible.

Full report: Providers deliver: better care for patients 

See also: NHS Providers blog

Doncaster and Bassetlaw to launch ‘Electronic Observations’

Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group | September 2019 | Local Hospitals to launch ‘Electronic Observations’

Starting this month (September) staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals will be adopting a new system to enable health professionals to electronically record patient observations. The launch of eObservations  forms part of DBTH’s ‘Digital Transformation programme’, a scheme of work which is looking at making the most of new technologies in order to improve patient care, safety, experience and treatment.

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One of the most important tasks within any hospital, ‘clinical observations’ is the term used to describe the multitude of tests and exercises which are used to monitor the health of a patient. From temperature checks to heart rate monitoring, these observations help doctors and nurses understand the condition of their patients, guiding treatment if anything changes.

‘eObservations’ will launch within all six adult wards at Bassetlaw Hospital. Using a mobile device (handheld phones), health professionals will be able to record patient observations using a secure app, which then calculates whether these results fall within the ‘normal’ range for the patient, alerting a senior nurse or doctor if urgent attention is required (Source: Doncaster CCG).

The full details of this innovation are available from Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group

 

 

Transforming elective care services

NHS England has published the following handbooks for commissioners, providers and those leading the local transformation of elective care services. They describe what local health and care systems can do to transform elective care services at pace, why this is necessary and how the impact of this transformation can be measured.  They also contain practical guidance for implementing and adopting a range of interventions to ensure patients see the right person, in the right place, first time.

Digital tool will help reduce avoidable lengthy stays in hospital

A new web-based Capacity Tracker will support people who need a care home placement to get out of hospital sooner. The tool enables health and social care staff to see how many vacancies there are in local care homes, saving time and helping people to get the right care as quickly as possible. The new technology is being rolled out to care homes, councils and hospitals across the country as part of the Long Term Plan for the health service.

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Image source: carehomes.necsu.nhs.uk

NHS England funds £2 million to boost system-wide leadership development

NHS England has funded a £2 million programme to help 23 areas kick-start or boost leadership development activities to support and inspire workforce in health systems across England from GPs, consultants and therapists to nurses, social workers and managers.

The programme builds on learning from five successful leadership models: Frimley Health and Care 2020 Programme, Surrey Heartlands Academy, Fylde Coast 100 Systems Leader Programme, North Cumbria and Leading Greater Manchester.

Their results have shown the importance of equipping individuals with the right skills necessary to drive change and identify new ways of working and collaborating with health, social care and third sector organisations.

The funding will support systems to develop locally tailored programmes, investing in both newly established and experienced leaders to increase their system leadership capability.

Full detail at NHS England