1000 health workers in Greater Manchester to get crucial training to support cancer patients

Categories: School of Health and Society

More than 1,000 workers currently employed in an Allied Health Professional (AHP) role in Greater Manchester are set to benefit from Allies in Cancer Care training.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has awarded a £1.2 million contract to the University of Salford to launch the Allies in Cancer Care training programme, which is part of the three-year Skills for Growth programme and has been made possible through the European Social Fund. 

The training programme will be delivered by the university, in collaboration with The Christie School of Oncology, and supported by the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance with the aim of providing a greater understanding of what it means to support someone living with cancer and equip them with the skills needed to provide better patient care.

Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance collaborated with the North West Cancer Alliances to conduct a Northwest Allied Health Professionals survey in January 2021, which highlighted the need for additional cancer training, specifically for those in more generalist roles across the region. Allied Healthcare professionals make up the third largest professional workforce in the NHS spanning 14 disciplines. In Greater Manchester, there are over 5,000 Allied Healthcare professionals and almost 1,000 support staff. GMCA looked to address this gap in training and education by committing to invest in the training required, for the benefit of cancer care in the region. 

The course will be run exclusively online and will be available from January 2023. There will be multiple enrolments up until September 2023, and each participant will gain a CPD certificate once they have completed their course.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s Lead for Education, Work, Skills, Apprenticeships and Digital, said: “Everyone deserves high-quality health care and that begins with accessible and affordable training for healthcare professionals. Supporting our health workforce is one of our highest priorities. Our communities have been telling us about how crucial good social healthcare is. We recognised the challenge and acted on it by launching this training opportunity aimed at developing the skills this sector needs to reach its potential.”

Professor Richard Fuller, Director of Christie Education and Honorary Consultant Stroke Physician, said: “One in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives, so it’s essential that all healthcare professionals are supported through excellence in education to provide outstanding patient care. Christie Education, a world-class teaching centre, is here to do just that by learning from, and with, patients and professionals. We’re delighted to be working with The University of Salford to deliver this training to Allied Health Professionals across Greater Manchester.”

Suzanne Lilley, Programme Director for Workforce and Education, Greater Manchester Cancer Academy, said: “We were thrilled when the GMCA agreed to support such an important training programme, enabling us to give something back to those who took time out to take part in the survey.  If we want our cancer patients to receive quality integrated care, then it is in our interest to make sure cancer is everybody’s business.  We want to ensure all healthcare professionals, whether in generalist or specialist roles, have the opportunity to develop their skills and cancer knowledge, a principle at the heart of the Greater Manchester Cancer Academy.  This programme will help to achieve this one cancer workforce ambition.” 

Professor Margaret Rowe, Dean of the School of Health and Society, University of Salford, said: “As the largest provider of Allied Health Professions undergraduate education in the North West, and a close partner of the NHS and other health and social care providers, we are delighted to be working with GMCA and the Christie to deliver this training. These skills will empower our AHPs in their vital work to support people who have cancer and their families and carers.”

The Skills for Growth programme is available as a result of GMCA securing funding from the European Social Fund to deliver a three-year programme, working in partnership with businesses and training providers to create new learning opportunities for employed residents in the city-region.

Throughout the programme, GMCA has gathered intelligence from businesses, which will be used to shape new training programmes. This unique and truly employer-led approach means that GMCA create a solution that is fit for purpose.

To apply for Allies in Cancer Care training programme please visit our website.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.