Cancer inequalities in Hull to be tackled with £4.9m
Last updated on 3/15/2017 Print this page
15 March, 2017
Yorkshire Cancer Research has today announced a £4.9m programme
of research to tackle cancer inequalities in Hull.
The charity will work in partnership with the
University of Hull, the Hull York Medical School and Hull and East
Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to deliver a series of five-year
research projects that will improve the experience of cancer
patients and ensure more people in the city survive the
The initiative will focus on ensuring that
patients are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage and that they
have equal access to the very best treatments and supportive
The investment will fund the appointment of 11
of the country’s most promising researchers, who will help to
establish the city as a centre of excellence for cancer research,
and the programme is expected to attract further national funding
to the area.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Interim Chief Executive at
Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:
This investment is another huge step in achieving our
goal to save 2,000 more lives in Yorkshire every year by 2025. We
know we can have a significant impact in Hull by making sure people
know how to spot the signs and symptoms of cancer and when to visit
the doctor, but also that they understand the importance of
attending screening appointments.
We also need to work with GPs to ensure they are able
to refer possible cancer patients to hospital as quickly as
possible, and that healthcare professionals are able to deliver the
best possible care to patients and their families once they have
Hull is the most deprived local authority in Yorkshire and the
third most deprived in the country1. Areas with high
levels of deprivation often have poor cancer outcomes. The reasons
behind this include higher levels of unhealthy behaviours, such as
smoking and drinking alcohol, poor knowledge and awareness of
symptoms, and barriers in access to healthcare.
There are an estimated 8,720 people in Hull currently living
with or beyond cancer2. Lung cancer incidence and
mortality rates in the area are significantly higher than the
national average3. Survival rates in Hull also lag
behind the England and Yorkshire averages4.
In 2016, just over a quarter of cancer patients in Hull were
diagnosed with Stage 4 disease, the most advanced type5.
When cancer is diagnosed at a late stage there are often fewer
treatment options and the chances of survival can be lower.
Professor Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor at the
University of Hull, said:
This award is significant news for Yorkshire. It is
testament to the world-class research and innovation delivered by
the University and Hull York Medical School that we have won this
funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research to carry out this important
This research will not only contribute to transforming
the way our hospitals and GPs work but will also have an impact for
those suffering from cancer, their families and
Professor Una Macleod,* Dean of Hull York Medical School,
We want to radically change the life chances of people
in our region living with cancer and this funding from Yorkshire
Cancer Research will help us make this aim a reality.
We welcome the funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research
for this important area of research to reduce inequalities in
cancer outcomes and improve survival rates in
Cancer incidence, mortality and survival rates are
often worse for those living in Yorkshire than across England as a
whole, and they are especially bad in Hull. The picture worsens for
the elderly and for those from socially-deprived communities. These
research projects will help us understand why these differences
exist, and how to reduce inequalities, speed up referrals, and
improve access to care and treatment.
Chris Long, Chief Executive at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals
NHS Trust, said:
The big challenge we’ve got in this area is that just
over a quarter of patients report to their doctor when their
tumours are at grade 4, which is the most advanced level of cancer.
This reduces our options for treatment and often ends up with the
patients having a shortened life as a consequence.
Research grants like these are really important and I’m
so grateful to Yorkshire Cancer Research for the work they are
funding in Hull. By working in partnership with the University of
Hull and the Hull York Medical School we can attract good quality
researchers into the area and they can work alongside practitioners
who are actually delivering care. This means we can identify new
ways to diagnose people at the earliest possible stage and improve
treatment to ensure local people get better outcomes for their
The project will take place over a period of
five years in the new Allam Medical Building, at the heart of the
University’s £28 million health campus which will be the home for
world-leading research and innovative teaching. Hull York Medical
School and the University’s newly-formed Faculty of Health Sciences
will work side by side in the building to support and deliver an
excellent student experience and new research.
These grants will build on five other
significant research projects that are already ongoing at the
University, also funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research. The
University is making a significant contribution through this work
to help Yorkshire Cancer Research have a real impact on patients’
lives and healthcare in Yorkshire.