Cancer Screening

The Vision

The NHS Long Term Plan details ambitious aims for the early diagnosis 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.

This programme came to a close in September 2022.


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 NHSEI, communications and evaluation support provided by Solutions for Public Health. 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 NHSEI. The Programme Manager within Champs Support Team is Louise Vernon and Jem Robson 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


Early Detect Early Protect
A new website has been launched to support healthcare and community professionals in starting conversations about screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancers with people living in Cheshire and Merseyside.
The new website contains a range of information and resources for healthcare and community professionals to help start the discussion on and offline with members of the public, and will be supported by a social media campaign.

Action on Cancer Toolkit
Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance has developed a new resource for community groups and organisations which want to spread the message about health and cancer. The Action on Cancer Toolkit combines practical resources with tried and tested methods to enhance community engagement and improve cancer outcomes for local people. You can download the toolkit here.

Cancer Needs Assessment: 2020/21 – Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Analysts Network