Early Diagnosis and Treatment

The NHS Long Term Plan set out the national ambition that 55,000 more people will survive for 5 years or more by 2028 following their cancer diagnosis.

Please see below the work that the Alliance is doing to help to  improve screening programmes,  faster access to diagnostic tests, and to ensure patients  can quickly benefit from precise, highly personalised treatments as medical science advances.

The Rapid Diagnostic Service

The Rapid Diagnostic Service Programme is funded over 5 years and designed to speed up cancer diagnosis across every pathway and support our ambitions to achieve earlier diagnosis, with improved patient experience, for all patients with cancer symptoms or suspicious results.


The PCA is committed to increasing uptake of the cancer screening programme across the region

Cancer Waiting Times 

The Peninsula Cancer Alliance is funding sustainable changes to pathways in order to support meeting cancer waiting times standard. There are a number of standards which measure NHS performance in the quality and timely delivery of cancer care, for further information please click below.

Best Practice Pathways 

Delivery and implementation of optimal timed pathways will improve times to treatment, and reduce variation across the alliance. Please follow the below link for guidance on how to achieve diagnosis within 14 days and diagnosis within 28 days for colorectal, lung and prostate cancer pathways.


Community Diagnostic Centres

An independent report published by Professor Sir Mike Richards in October 2020, recommended the need for a new diagnostics model, where more facilities are created in free-standing locations away from main hospital sites. 

The Alliance is currently working with stakeholders across the Peninsula Cancer Alliance to develop ambitions and plans for Community Diagnostic Hubs across our region, which will contribute to the following aims: 

  • To improve population health outcomes by reaching earlier, faster and more accurate diagnoses of health conditions. 
  • To increase diagnostic capacity by investing in new facilities, equipment and training new and existing staff, contributing to recovery from COVID-19 and reducing pressure on acute sites. 
  • To improve productivity and efficiency of diagnostic activity by streamlining provision of acute and elective diagnostic services where it makes sense to do so; redesigning clinical pathways to reduce unnecessary steps, tests or duplication. 
  • To contribute to reducing health inequalities driven by unwarranted variation in referral, access, uptake, experience and outcomes of diagnostic provision. 
  • To deliver a better and more personalised diagnostic experience for patients by providing a single point of access to a range of safe, quality diagnostic services in the community. 
  • To support the integration of care across primary, community and secondary care and the wider diagnostics transformation programme.

Prostate Pathway

Following the Promise Trial we have made some major changes to our prostate cancer pathway across the South West. Dr Raj Persad talks about these changes and the benefits of targeting more specific areas earlier on in the pathway.

NICE has published the latest impact report highlighting substantial improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer over the last 20 years.

Genomic Testing

The Peninsula cancer Alliance is working with the South West Genomics Laboratory to help to embed Genomics into patient care pathways.

Please follow the below link for further information.