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The Challenges and Opportunities for Kidney Cancer Care Recovery report

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Kidney Cancer News | 0 comments

In anticipation of the Government’s upcoming 10-year Cancer Plan, Kidney Cancer UK is pleased to welcome the publication of the report – ‘The Challenges and Opportunities for Kidney Cancer Care Recovery’– written in collaboration with Ipsen UK, Queen’s University Belfast, and DATA-CAN.OCV-10-Year-Cancer-Pan-Consensus-Statement-29.03.22

Click to read full report

A report highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on patients and services in the UK including a diagnosis backlog, and lower rates of early-stage treatment, as well as the barriers to achieving the priorities of the cancer recovery taskforce.

The report summarises discussions from a recent roundtable of clinical experts, healthcare professionals, and patient advocates, facilitated by Ipsen UK and chaired by Malcolm Packer, Head of Charity Affairs and Communication at Kidney Cancer UK. Discussions uncovered key insights into current cancer services noting that to reach pre-pandemic levels of service, the NHS would have to run services at 130 percent capacity to reduce the current backlog and to ensure sufficient capacity to meet demand moving forward. There were also spotlight sessions on the importance of service audit, psychosocial wellbeing in cancer care, and digital innovations, echoing many of the recommendations in the One Cancer Voice Consensus Statement Kidney Cancer UK supports

“Simply getting back to normal in cancer services is not enough. We may need to be running services at 130 percent capacity to help reduce the backlog. As many as 85,000 cancer diagnoses may have been missed in the UK. In Europe, up to one million people may be walking around with undiagnosed cancer, due to the delays in cancer services that the pandemic has unleashed”

Additional report recommendations include ‘building back better’ than pre-pandemic levels of care with the urgent need for collaborative cross-sector working to help ease the backlog of diagnosis and treatment to fulfil the goals proposed by the cancer recovery agenda. It also underlined a lack of timely data collection, the severe impact of COVID-19 on patients’ mental health, the need for a holistic care pathway to ensure high-quality care for all patients across the UK, as well as greater awareness to ensure that cancer does not become the forgotten ‘C’, as competing priorities post-COVID could see it deprioritised on the healthcare agenda.

The report also called for an audit to collate up-to-date kidney cancer patient data, building on work already carried out by Kidney Cancer UK on variations in treatment across the UK, to ensure the UK concluded local variation in service quality was a key factor in the lack of clinical guidance. The charity formed the Kidney Cancer UK Accord. However, a NICE guideline and quality standard for kidney cancer is needed to optimise improvements within cancer care across the UK.

Key findings of the report can be found summarised below, focused on the UK’s Cancer Recovery Strategy and changes in kidney cancer care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key findings and recommendations

Participants considered the themes outlined in this report and proposed actionable solutions and goals that can be implemented across the UK to improve the service delivery within kidney cancer to benefit patients, patient organisations, and clinicians.

  1. In line with the cancer recovery agenda, all oncology stakeholders must aim to restore cancer screening, diagnoses, referrals, and treatment to at least pre-pandemic levels. Sufficient capacity and resources will be required to mitigate further service disruption caused by the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.
  2. As cancer recovery planning becomes the responsibility of local systems, it is essential that Trusts and Cancer Alliances provide adequate support for their local cancer services to deliver high-quality cancer care and reduce the diagnosis and treatment backlog as quickly as possible.
  3. Central to the UK’s cancer recovery and rebuilding of quality service interventions, it is imperative that closer focus is paid to ensuring that NICE clinical guidelines exist for each cancer type and are up-to-date.
  4. Cancer must remain a priority for policymakers, avoiding further disruptions, backlog, and excess cancer deaths.
  5. Support the ‘Time to Act’ Campaign launched by the European Cancer Organisation, encouraging the UK government to take action now by following the seven-point plan outlined at the European Cancer Summit in November 2020 to ‘Build Back Better’.
  6. Promote further recognition for the key role played by patient organisations in providing direct, personalised support to cancer patients throughout the pandemic, despite increased resource constraints and rapid operational model changes.
  7. Utilise the recommendations created by the Psychosocial Task and Finish Group and Cancer Quality of Life Survey to support services to deliver personalised, psychologically-minded cancer care with an additional focus on mental wellbeing for both patients and clinicians working in this sector.
  8. Explore the possibility of leveraging current resources to improve and accelerate data collection to demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care and to provide accurate, up-to-date intelligence by cancer type to inform future solutions and service planning.
  9. Build upon work already carried out by Kidney Cancer UK on variations in treatment across the UK, to ensure the development of comprehensive kidney cancer guidelines, incorporating measurements of care experience and person-centred care.
  10. The opportunities presented by remote consultations, online support networks, and digital tools should be considered in the context of post-pandemic resilience, encouraging health systems and the wider cancer community to adopt digital solutions. However, safeguards must be in place for healthcare staff and patients to use digital innovations safely and effectively.
  11. Facilitate a cross-sector conversation, involving patients, industry, and the NHS to coproduce long-term sustainable solutions for personalised cancer care.


The above roundtable and report were sponsored and facilitated by Ipsen UK, co-produced with Kidney Cancer UK, and endorsed by DATA-CAN and Queen’s University Belfast who participated in the roundtable on 25 November 2021.

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Kidney Cancer UK

Kidney Cancer UK is the UK’s leading kidney cancer charity. We seek to reduce the harm caused by kidney cancer by increasing knowledge and awareness, providing patient information and by supporting research into the causes, prevention and treatment of the disease