Process and Impact Evaluation of the National Cancer Diagnostics Capacity Fund

Client: NHS England

SQW was commissioned by NHS England to undertake a process and impact evaluation of the National Cancer Diagnostics Capacity Fund. The study identified best practice for increasing diagnostic capacity, generating lessons which can be used throughout the wider NHS.

The Fund was one of the recommendations from the independent Cancer Taskforce Report, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes, and improving cancer waiting times is a key objective for NHS England. The Diagnostics Capacity Fund's key aims are to:

  • Improve performance against the 62-day cancer waiting time standard
  • Improve patient experience
  • Reduce variation in 62-day cancer waiting time performance compared to the national average.

The Fund allocated non-recurrent funding to 30 projects for delivery in 2016/7. Initiatives include a focus on:

  • Networking diagnostic services between providers
  • Resequencing or redesigning diagnostic pathways
  • Using the workforce differently.

SQW's study involved a programme-wide review of the activities and outcomes emerging, as well as an in-depth focus on six case study projects. We also conducted site visits, consultations, an in-depth document review, and analysis of secondary data at project and programme levels.