IMPROVE UK is a groundbreaking programme 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 programme to address these inequalities and build an infrastructure to develop a legacy of best practice sharing up and down the country. 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.
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 programme, the pilots will share their learnings with other Centres across the UK.
Find out more about the seven pilot projects and what they're hoping to achieve
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary NHS GrampianImproving access to surgery, reducing inequalities by unifying gynae-oncology care across ScotlandFind out more about Aberdeen Royal Infirmary NHS Grampian
Royal United Hospital Bath & University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust.Reducing inequalities due to age, frailty, poor physical and mental health.Find out more about Royal United Hospital Bath & University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust.
Belfast City HospitalImproving access to treatment for older and frail patients.Find out more about Belfast City Hospital
University of Birmingham and University of CambridgeEnsuring all patients can access molecular testing for personalised treatment of ovarian cancer.Find out more about University of Birmingham and University of Cambridge
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation TrustIntroducing a new pathway for faster diagnosis and better treatment to reduce inequalities in care.Find out more about Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
University of ManchesterCreating a shared decision making tool to reduce treatment inequality across the UK.Find out more about University of Manchester
Wales: Cardiff, Swansea and BangorIntroducing prehabilitation for all patients with advanced ovarian cancer across Wales.Find out more about Wales: Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor
With £1million of funding from the Tampon Tax fund, we launched IMPROVE UK - a a groundbreaking programme to tackle health inequalities for women with ovarian cancer. This is what the project achieved over the first year of funding.