We commission a range of services which fall under our Reducing Inequalities priority:
As with many other health conditions, there are a range of cancer inequalities in the outcomes and experience of cancer patients.
The Luton Cancer Outcomes project was established in 2021 to understand the factors contributing to poor cancer outcomes in Luton. The project looked at health inequalities linked to cancer, cancer data around risk factors and patient experience.
The report specifically looked at lung, colorectal, breast, prostate, pancreatic and oesophageal cancers and made clear recommendations for improving outcomes among this population. The report considered the needs of certain groups eg socio-economically deprived groups, ethnically diverse and faith groups and the LGBTQ community. It was clear that in order to make a change and break down some of the barriers faced by some groups, we need to hear from people about their experiences.
Early successes include a Macmillan grant to introduce a team of community connectors who will work with communities to understand health inequalities and engage on cancer signs and symptoms. These are exciting new roles and an example of partnership working across the ICS with the Integrated Care Board, public health and Macmillan Cancer Charity.
The introduction of community engagement posts will enable the project to have a further engagement reach in local communities. The posts will be for three years and will utilise language and/or cultural knowledge, engaging people affected by and living with cancer particularly engaging with seldom heard populations. The connectors will specifically engage with Black African/Caribbean, Eastern European and South East Asian communities in Luton.
They will supporting the Luton Cancer Outcomes Project by delving deep into communities, building trust, long-term engagement and connections. The aims:
- better understand barriers and challenges;
- deliver insights to support behaviour change;
- improve provision of the right cancer services;
- tackle health inequalities;
- co-develop services that support better cancer experiences