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Learning and development scoping - Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership

What did we do?
In order to meet expected standards of care for people affected by cancer (PABC), it was identified that education and training needed to be improved for clinical and non-clinical members of the workforce across Manchester. To address this problem we were commissioned to conduct a cancer-specific learning and development needs scoping project for the entire workforce caring for PABC across Manchester.

Why was it important?
Cancer, palliative and end-of-life care are national priorities as over two million people in the UK are living with or in remission from cancer, of which around 6,500 will die as a direct result of the disease each year in Greater Manchester alone. The various elements of cancer care are provided by a range of clinical and non-clinical staff working as a part of many multi-disciplinary teams, each with the aim to provide the highest level of care possible to every patient.

How did we do it?
Between May and October 2014 we worked to achieve the following objectives:


  • Conduct a workforce analysis for primary, community, and palliative care work streams across Manchester;
  • Develop a greater understanding of the roles within various workforces in the delivery of cancer care;
  • Develop a cancer-specific learning needs analysis for the clinical and non-clinical workforce;
  • Perform a gap analysis to identify potential areas for the implementation of new learning and development within the workforce in line with national recommendations;
  • Identify key stakeholders for care delivery in Manchester;
  • Identify potential resources for learning and development of cancer care from external organisations.


Local impact of this work

We worked closlely with the MCIP Board to ensure that the findings from our work were integrated into the future MCIP education programme and here are a number of ways that we were able to influence the overall MCIP work:


  • We developed a bespoke five-year ‘Cancer-specific Learning & Development Minimum Standard’ (the full report can be downloaded from below) was proposed to the MCIP Board, and helped to inform decision making about areas of most need.
  • The MCIP team have continued to use the recommendations made in the report as part of their education offer for 2015/16; on top of the initial training packages offered in 2014/2015, two further courses for the community workforce – Sage and Thyme Communications course and a bespoke Macmillan General Cancer Awareness Course, have been designed and commissioned to address the knowledge gap this work identified.
  • Approximately 300 people over 15 courses were trained during 2015/16,
  • Our findings have been utilised by the external independent evaluation team (ICF International) as a baseline assessment for the full evaluation of the education aspect of the MCIP programme.


Who did we work with?
Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership 

The University of Manchester 

St Ann’s Hospice


The funding come from Macmillan Cancer Support.

Downloadable resources



More information

For more information please contact Michael Spence (Programme Manager)