Award for local health team.

Active Against Cancer, based in Harrogate, have been highly commended in the Parliamentary Excellence in Healthcare Awards yesterday. They came second only to the team who produced the Astrazeneca vaccine for COVID-19.

Local MP, Andrew Jones nominated the group for the award and said: “What a brilliant outcome. To be runners-up to the team who developed the COVID-19 vaccine is an amazing achievement. Active Against Cancer change people’s lives for the better through encouraging fitness in an engaging, fun way.

“Patients are able to take control of one element of their illness. The sessions also enable treatment side effects to be identified early and treated. The group has a huge and positive role in the whole patient journey.”

In the citation accompanying the award Mr Jones said:

Active Against Cancer (AAC) is a ground breaking NHS service, incorporating exercise, health and wellbeing into the standard treatment pathways for all cancer patients. It is the first of it’s kind in the NHS.

AAC supports patients throughout their cancer journey starting with one-to-one assessments at the time of diagnosis, when patients are prescribed a personalised prehabilitation exercise programme. For patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, maintenance programmes are prescribed and when treatment has finished patients enter into personalised rehabilitation programmes. Specific classes are also available for patients with terminal disease. Classes include a variety of activities including circuits, pilates, yoga, dance and walking. The classes are designed to be engaging, fun and create a sense of community and wellbeing. Friendships have blossomed and support groups organically grown.

The service empowers vulnerable patients to take back an element of control over their cancer treatment and this has been essential for achieving our high uptake and satisfaction rates. By providing patients with timely access to information and supportive services, the principles of personalised care are truly able to be delivered. The regular contact and targeted information has also allowed for early identification of treatment and disease related side effects and reduced the reliance on secondary care, freeing up valuable resources.

Andrew is pictured sharing a selfie with Dr Emma Radcliffe at the awards.