Improving the quality of life for patients with incurable cancer in Bristol

Project managing the timely set up of a pilot to demonstrate the benefits of an Enhanced Supportive Care model in improving the quality of life for patients with incurable lung or Upper GI cancer.


Enhanced Supportive Care (ESC) for incurable cancer patients had been demonstrated to be successful at the Christie NHSFT in Manchester and pilots were being rolled out at numerous trusts across England. SCW were asked to take over project management for the pilot at University Hospitals Bristol NHS FT (UHB) for a period of three months in the absence of the existing project manager, to reignite their stalled project. In order to shape delivery of a successful pilot in a short period of time we were asked to implement project delivery best practice introducing effective governance and ensuring the project team, from a range of clinical and non clinical backgrounds, understood what was required of them.


Having identified the priorities, risks and dependencies we designed a package of documents and processes, tried and tested from other projects, to track and monitor the project’s progress, fostering relationships between key stakeholders to ensure actions were delivered on time and without unnecessary repetition of work. We facilitated task and finish groups to drive work forward and were able to handover an effective suite of documentation and existing processes to the original project manager upon their return to the project at the end of the three month period.


The new UHB ESC service pilot is estimated to start on 01 May 2020 during which they will assess its effect on quality of life for participating patients. All members of the team understand the role their work plays in collaborating to enable  service delivery, with a comprehensive plan for when they are due to deliver relevant outputs. This includes the process for recruiting a consultant for the service, which is a key risk and dependency, together with mitigating actions should this process not be successful. SCW successfully delivered project management and governance for the agreed period and control of the project was returned to the original UHB project manager in mid January, who continues to work to the detailed schedule created by our team.


The feedback received from the task and finish group members, lead consultant and returning project manager has been very positive. They appreciated the oversight and expertise that SCW was able to bring and the ability to help them control multiple work streams and refocus the project team to overcome issues and move effectively towards delivering the service. Stakeholders commented the approachable and friendly manner of SCW employees was particularly appreciated and helped in bringing together a team from differing backgrounds and with different areas of expertise.

For more information contact Sarah Warren, Sarah Warren, Clinical Services Programme Lead: Care Navigation and Cancer,

More case studies