C the Signs – An NHS England case study

It is an honour to be featured as a Case Study of good practice for the early diagnosis of cancer and patient survival by NHS England. Since our pilot in Sutton CCG, we are now working with 130 GP practices across 4 CCGs and have over 500 primary care health professionals using the decision support tool.

How do we get to 3 in 4 people being diagnosed early with cancer?

Last week, the C the Signs Team were proud to present a poster about our progress at Cancer Research UK’s Fifth Biennial Early Diagnosis Conference. The conference took place over three days and celebrated the research from the last decade, alongside the implementation of evidence into policy and practice.

The state of screening in the UK

Last week the BBC published an article exploring the deteriorating state of screening in the UK. The programmes can save lives by detecting cancer at an early stage, prior to symptoms developing. The UK has three main screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer. Here we explore some of the complex issues involved.

Dry January is not really about January

Dry January, the campaign set up by Alcohol Change, challenges participants to give up alcohol for a month. The initiative has now been running for six years, with increasing numbers of people participating each year. This January 1.1 million more people than last year vowed to give up alcohol. Rather than a campaign about giving up alcohol forever, Dry January asks the social drinker to reflect on their drinking habits and to give their body a break from their normal drinking routine (especially after the festive period)!

This article explores the potential long-term benefits of Dry January and why the message behind the campaign ought to be considered throughout the year.

A 21-year low on Cervical Cancer Screening in England

Cervical cancer affects women of all ages. There are currently over 49,000 women living with or beyond the diagnosis in the UK, with a further 3,000 diagnosed every year.

We know that one day we can eliminate this cancer. This is through the HPV vaccination and cervical screening programmes that we are fortunate to have – with screening providing the best protection against the disease. Worryingly though, attendance for screening is falling year on year and is at a 21-year low in England alone. This means our vision of making cervical cancer a disease of the past is getting further away.

C THE SIGNS VISITS NO. 10 AND THE NHS LONG TERM PLAN

In December, C the Signs visited 10 Downing Street to discuss the impact C the Signs has been having and how it can improve the early diagnosis of cancer. This week we welcome the publication of NHS England’s much awaited Long Term Plan to tackle the challenges the NHS is going to face in the coming years. Here we take a look at the cancer priorities and what it means for primary care.

BE THE MOTIVATION YOUR PATIENTS NEED TO QUIT SMOKING THIS NEW YEAR

As 2019 begins I am sure many of us will be setting ‘New Year’s resolutions’, as will be the case for many of your patients. Quitting smoking is one of the most popular health-related resolutions, but also one of the least successful, with the Royal Society for Public Health reporting quitting smoking to be the most difficult resolution to keep (and by some margin). In the New Year of 2016, of those who resolved to quit smoking, 3 in 5 were smoking again by the end of January 2016 and just 13% had stuck to their resolution by the end of the year.

Make Every Contact Count – Tackling Obesity

Obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, with Cancer Research UK reporting that more than 1 in 20 cancer cases are caused by excess weight. The risk increases with the more weight a person gains and the longer they are overweight for. Yet small changes that are maintained long-term can make a significant difference. Making every contact count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises daily interactions to encourage others to make a behaviour change which would have a positive effect on health. This is an important initiative run by NHS Health Education England which can be implemented by GPs to encourage patients to lose weight.

Loneliness this Christmas

In 2016, approximately 400,000 people with cancer in the UK reported feeling lonely over the festive period. MacMillan Cancer Support reported that 16% of cancer patients felt that the Christmas and New Year period was one of the loneliest times of the year, equalling that of the anniversary of the death of a loved one.

Several factors may contribute to feelings of loneliness among people living with cancer over Christmas, but there is support available for these people over the festive period.

Read about why this time of year can be particularly lonely and some examples of support to recommend to your patients.

GPs need to be encouraged to become gate openers rather than asked to be gate keepers

On Tuesday 4th December, C the Signs was invited to present at the Britain Against Cancer 2018 Conference, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer. C the Signs outlined the challenge GPs face in primary care with rising demand and the pressure they are under as gatekeepers, the need for better straight to test pathways and why GPs aren’t the barrier to early diagnosis.

“Could this patient have cancer and how best should I investigate this possibility?”

C the Signs is a clinical decision support tool that makes my life as a GP so much easier. When faced with the clinical dilemma of “Could this patient have cancer and how best should I investigate this possibility?”, C the Signs offers me a tool that I can use during the consultation to check the best options available to me.

News – C the Signs announces £1,000,000 award from SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England Initiative

We are delighted and honoured to be awarded £1m in funding from SBRI Healthcare. This funding will be transformative in how we diagnose patients with cancer, using our technology. Early diagnosis of cancer has the potential to save more lives than any cancer treatment in history. Using C the Signs technology, patients can be identified at the earliest and most curable stage of the disease. The future of cancer is survival.