Cancer Screening

The Vision

The NHS Long Term Plan details ambitious aims for the detection and treatment of cancer, with
Cancer Alliances playing a key role in the delivery.

The plan highlights that by 2028:

  • an extra 55,000 people each year will survive for five years or more following their cancer
    diagnoses; and
  • three in four cancers (75 per cent) will be diagnosed at an early stage

Why is it important?

In Cheshire and Merseyside, 18,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year, but due to new forms of treatment, better screening and healthier lifestyles, this number is reducing rapidly. Innovations in healthcare and treatment also mean that those who have cancer have a much better chance of surviving if diagnosed early.

  • The national bowel screening coverage target is 60% – coverage in Cheshire and Merseyside varies from 52.8% to 64.3%
  • The national breast screening coverage target is 70% – 9 out of 12 CCGs are above the 70% threshold, with coverage varying from 65% to 79.2%
  • The national cervical screening coverage target is 80% – all CCGs in Cheshire and Merseyside fall below the threshold with coverage varying from 66.4-75.4%

What are we doing?

To support the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan, £1.35 million has been allocated by the Cheshire and
Merseyside Cancer Alliance through its Cancer Transformation Fund to deliver three distinct cancer
screening projects:

  1. Bowel and Breast Screening Improvement Project
  2. Cervical Screening Improvement Project
  3. Screening Community Engagement Project

The projects are led and implemented by Champs Public Health Collaborative with strategic
leadership through NHS England/Improvement and Public Health England.


A robust governance structure has been established with accountability to the Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance Board.

The Senior Responsible Officer is Sarah Johnson-Griffiths, Consultant in Public Health at Halton Council and Chair of the Cancer Alliance Cancer Prevention Steering Group.

An Oversight Group for the project has also been established with representation from the Champs Support Team, Cancer Alliance and NHE/I/Public Health England, communications and evaluation support. The purpose of the oversight group is to oversee and provide leadership for the work and it
will be supported by 3 task and finish groups, each with a focus on a single project.

Strategic support for this programme is provided by NHSE/I and PHE. The Programme Manager within Champs Support Team is Louise Vernon and Jem Fatania is the Project Support Officer.

More information

DPH Lead

Sarah Johnson Griffiths, Consultant in Public Health, Halton Council


Louise Vernon is the Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Screening Programme Manager