What is the programme and its aims?
The East Midlands Cancer Clinical Network set-up a diagnostics programme to support the development of services to meet the proposed demand for diagnostics. This will include a sequential roll-out of diagnostic areas commencing with radiology services, which will complement both the regional and national priorities for radiology.

Why is the programme required?
The diagnostic waiting times within the East Midlands need to be coordinated and timely to ensure earlier diagnosis, to support and enhance appropriate treatment regimes. Current evidence demonstrates that the demand for cancer services is set to increase and the diagnostic services are already under strain - for example, outsourcing of services being charged at premium rates. The NHS needs to address this and look for innovative solutions to offer services in the future.

Who are the partners?
We are working with organisations across and bordering the East Midlands, inclusive of all provider trusts and commissioning colleagues, Health Education East Midlands, East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, incorporating other programmes and projects commencing or in operation within the East Midlands, whilst seeking advice and guidance from societies and experts.

How are we making a difference?
We are offering a collaborative approach, reducing isolated practice to solution finding when the services are under strain.

The joint working group now has a governance structure, to support its work and enable it to have a collective and direct voice to executive teams and commissioning colleagues.

What’s next?
The joint working group will meet monthly and will present a highlight report to the Collaborative Commissioning Oversight Group (CCOG) at intervals to advise on progress seeking further support and advice.

What are the key resources?
The key resources within this programme are the multidisciplinary team that offer the services for all clinical pathways across the region. They provide local intelligence on their priorities, limitations and challenges. Their priority is the patients they serve.

Literature to support the radiology element of the programme can be found at: