Involving the Public in NHS Cancer Services

The importance of involving people in NHS cancer services

The Cancer Taskforce Strategy and The Five Year Forward View both highlighted the importance of involving patients in cancer care and service provision.

Partnerships between health professionals, patients, carers and the wider community can help to develop patient-centred services and improve cancer outcomes. Involving people in the development of NHS services benefits the healthcare system and provides opportunities for people to learn new skills, build relationships and develop confidence.

The Northern Cancer Alliance is committed to partnership working with people affected by cancer or potentially affected by cancer and community organisations, to inform the development NHS cancer services in the region.

Defining the approach

The Alliance aims to use language that is easy to understand. It recognises that a number of different terms are often used to describe partnership working between health professionals and patients, their carers and families. The Alliance has adopted “public involvement” to describe all their partnership activities.

“Public” describes everyone living in the Alliance area affected or potentially affected, by cancer.

“Involvement” describes any partnership activities with the public to improve cancer outcomes and services. This includes:

  • Providing information.
  • Talking to people to understand their experiences and gain their views.
  • Patients working in partnership with professionals to develop clinical pathways and wider NHS cancer services.