Head and Neck Optimal Pathway Group

The group provides strategic oversight for the improvement of head and neck cancer outcomes and patient experience across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. By taking a whole pathway and systemwide approach, the group implements and supports:

  • Urgent responses to pressures that have recently occurred due to COVID-19
  • National cancer priorities outlined in the in the NHS 5 Year Forward View and NHS Long Term Plan (screening, early diagnosis, delivery of the Rapid Diagnostic Centres and Personalised Care interventions.)
  • The development and updating of local clinical guidelines.

The group meets three times a year. The schedule culminates in an educational event, where shared learning and best practice is presented to a wider networked audience.

The group has delivered the following projects to date:

  • Established an Allied Health Professionals/Cancer Nurse Specialist group to support the delivery of Personalised Stratified Follow Up (PSFU) interventions for people living with and beyond cancer
  • Developed a business case to address the increase demand for the regional palliative clinic and improve the links with local support offers
  • Started to implement oral condition imaging as part of the referral to improve the diagnostic pathway.

Current priority targets for the group are:

  • To codesign and coproduce a patient information and education portal to support West Yorkshire and Harrogate patients having treatment for head and neck cancers
  • To agree a standard data set that is consistent across the WYH region. The dataset will include quantitative and qualitative data
  • To conduct a regional osteoradionecrosis (ORN) audit.

If you require further information, please contact the Optimal Pathways team by emailing optimal.pathways@nhs.net.

To view the calendar of meetings and events, click here