Three Groundbreaking Cancer Projects Secure Funding from Innovation Award Scheme

Health innovation

In an ongoing effort to enhance cancer services and foster innovation, three projects have been awarded funding in the second round of the Cancer Innovation Award Scheme. The scheme, aimed at promoting improvement and innovation in cancer care, received support from the South Yorkshire Innovation Hub, operated by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), in collaboration with the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance.

The awards specifically target initiatives aligned with the objectives outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan, focusing on improved access to diagnostics, reduced health inequalities, and personalized care and support.

Sarah Dew, Programme Director of the Yorkshire & Humber AHSN’s South Yorkshire Innovation Hub, expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “The South Yorkshire Innovation Hub supports the South Yorkshire Integrated Care System in identifying unmet needs where innovative approaches could better serve the population. We help test and implement these innovations. It’s fantastic to be working with the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance on this innovation award program, building on last year’s success. The funding will support innovations that aim to improve access to cancer services for all and enhance cancer diagnosis and patient experience.”

Dr. Stephanie Edgar, GP and clinical lead from South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance, acknowledged the intense competition in this year’s selection process and congratulated the three winning projects. These innovative schemes are poised to benefit patients from diverse backgrounds by achieving earlier cancer diagnosis and supporting those living with cancer in the region. Dr. Edgar looks forward to witnessing the outcomes of these improvement plans.

Let’s take a closer look at the three winning projects:

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust

This project aims to address the lower participation of individuals with severe mental illness in healthcare screening programs. Research suggests that adults with severe mental health problems are more likely to die from cancer before the age of 75 compared to those without mental health illnesses. The funding will be utilized for coproduction sessions conducted in collaboration with community organizations and individuals with mental health issues. Using various assets, including arts, lived experience, and self-help methodologies, the project will explore the perception and fear surrounding illness, medical care, and screening. The ultimate goal is to develop culturally appropriate tools that increase the uptake of cancer screening at earlier stages, leading to earlier diagnosis, treatment, and reduced morbidity and mortality.

Weston Park Cancer Centre, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Weston Park Cancer Centre, in partnership with patients, their relatives, and clinicians, aims to create a novel web-based assessment tool called ePAQ-P-Rx (electronic Personal Assessment Questionnaire – Pelvic Radiotherapy). This tool will support routine care and management while evaluating outcomes and late effects following pelvic radiotherapy.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital and NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Cooperative

Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Cooperative are collaborating to develop supportive technologies that improve the healthcare journey and experience of young cancer patients. They have identified Xploro as a clinically validated health information platform that currently supports young cancer patients through the use of 3D avatars,



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