IMPROVE UK is a groundbreaking project to tackle health inequalities for women with ovarian cancer.
In 2020, Ovarian Cancer Action secured over £1million from the Tampon Tax fund to launch a project to tackle systemic and regional health inequalities for women with ovarian cancer.
The best survival rates in the UK match the highest in the world, and yet we currently have one of the poorest average 5yr survival rates in Europe. The Ovarian Cancer Audit Feasibility Pilot had shone a spotlight on the inequalities faced by women with ovarian cancer based on where they live, their age and ethnicity. Examples that were raised included:
5 yr survival rates range from 29% to 50% across different regions.
Women over the age of 70 are significantly less likely to receive any treatment than their younger counterparts
There is less uptake of important genetic testing in patients from BAME groups
IMPROVE UK is the first major project to address these inequalities and build an infrastructure to develop a legacy of best practice sharing up and down the country.
We have now awarded the first grants for pilot projects that seek to address these inequalities directly in NHS Cancer Centres. At the end of the project, the pilots will share their learnings with other Centres across the UK.
Ultimately, this will improve survival rates and address inequalities in care for all women with ovarian cancer in the UK regardless of where they live, their age or ethnicity.
Find out more about the seven pilot projects and what they're hoping to achieve
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary NHS Grampian
Improving access to surgery, reducing inequalities by unifying gynae-oncology care across Scotland
Royal United Hospital Bath & University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust.
Reducing inequalities due to age, frailty, poor physical and mental health.
Belfast City Hospital
Improving access to treatment for older and frail patients.
University of Birmingham and University of Cambridge
Ensuring all patients can access molecular testing for personalised treatment of ovarian cancer.
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Introducing a new pathway for faster diagnosis and better treatment to reduce inequalities in care.
University of Manchester
Creating a shared decision making tool to reduce treatment inequality across the UK.
Wales: Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor
Introducing prehabilitation for all patients with advanced ovarian cancer across Wales.