Clinical commissioning group receives national award for early cancer diagnosis

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East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (ELRCCG) has received a national award in recognition of its progress in tackling one-year cancer survival rates.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer invited the 20 highest performing clinical commissioning groups in the country to an awards ceremony.

The ELRCCG represents 32 GP practices serving more than 315,000 patients in Melton, Rutland, Market Harborough, Blaby district, Lutterworth, and Oadby and Wigston. Clinical commissioning groups plan and purchase acute and community hospital care along with mental healthcare and other allied services.

Dr Vivek Varakantam, GP board member and clinical lead for cancer at ELRCCG, said: “One in two of us born since 1960 will have a diagnosis of cancer in our lifetimes. Helping patients to get treated earlier improves their chances of living long and healthy lives and we’re working hard to increase awareness of the importance of early diagnosis.

“Working alongside colleagues from Leicester City and West Leicestershire CCGs, and in conjunction with local healthcare providers, we’ve been able to increase capacity in this area which means the number of patients being seen with suspected cancers has risen from around 500 a week to 700 a week. This means we can refer more people, more quickly, for cancer diagnosis and also for rapid treatment where cancer is diagnosed. We can inform patients who do not have a cancer diagnosis much more quickly too which is really important.”