Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme

NEWS: Update on Scottish Government Cancer Strategy highlights IHDP achievements and outlines next steps

An update to the Scottish Government’s 2016 Cancer strategy details IHDP’s accomplishments and outlines the direction of travel ahead of the new cancer strategy due in 2021.

Update to the Scottish Government Cancer Strategy 


The Scottish Government last week published an update to their 2016 cancer strategy – Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action, with a report which highlights the contribution of the Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme (IHDP) to the current strategy and spells out future steps.

Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action (2016) update: achievements, new action and testing change

2016 Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action 


The report draws attention to the two viable PROMs (Patient Reported Outcomes Measures) tools that IHDP have supported into production. These tools are products of the Cancer Innovation Challenge. IHDP members were actively involved in the strategic and operational delivery of the Challenge, a £1M project funded by the Scottish Government through the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and delivered through the collaborative efforts of three of Scotland’s Innovation Centres. 

Cancer Innovation Challenge Website 


The development of the Scottish Cancer Registry and Intelligence Service (SCRIS) is also mentioned. IHDP has played a major role in the development of this service alongside divisions of National Services Scotland – IT and ISD (now part of Public Health Scotland). SCRIS aims to be the go-to location for cancer data in Scotland, allowing clinicians and Boards to benchmark cancer services across the country and for the first time offer near real-time data to drive improvement. We continue to work with PHS colleagues to fully realise the benefits of this new national cancer data asset.

Modernising the Scottish Cancer Registry 


IHDP was commended for the 13 innovation projects, which it has nurtured to support the use of innovative technology and routine NHS cancer data to improve Scotland’s cancer outcomes. One project addressed the fundamental gap in Scotland’s ability to report and benchmark nationally on the use of chemotherapy (a key area identified in the 2016 Cancer Strategy ). As part of the development of SCRIS, IHDP helped facilitate the use of novel data virtualisation technology to integrate a key dataset, Systematic Anti-Cancer Treatments (SACT).  Using data virtualisation, SACT data can now be pulled from a number of local systems, allowing the development of a national picture of chemotherapy utilisation for the first time without the need for ‘physical’ extraction.


I’m most proud of the fact that IHDP have produced concrete outputs in terms of making cancer data more accessible and joined up.

Professor Aileen Keel, Director of IHDPQuote from the Data Driven Innovation "Women in Data" campaign

Professor Aileen Keel in Data-Driven Innovation's Women in Data Article 


The update also outlined two of IHDP’s goals for the coming year.


Firstly, through SCRIS, IHDP has facilitated the integration of two key datasets: Radiotherapy and SACT, as mentioned above. The SACT data was recently connected in two more areas in Scotland to bring coverage to more than 90% of the Scottish population. Making this 100% and adding the radiotherapy data to SCRIS is our goal, and will allow benchmarking and reduction in variation of cancer treatment across Scotland.


Secondly, having laid out the evidence of the benefits of using treatment summaries in the 2017 IHDP report, we have been working hard with NES Digital Service on developing a technical solution to provide them to patients and GPs in Scotland.  

WoSCAN Journal Article - Implementation of cancer treatment summaries in NHS Ayrshire and Arran


IHDP has come a long way over the past five years in our aim of harnessing the power of informatics to deliver value to patients, healthcare professionals and the wider NHS in Scotland. The cancer strategy update indicates we’re adding value. We’re very focussed on continuing to do so in the run up to the publication of the next Cancer Strategy due in 2021.