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Meet the team: Claire Hopley

Cancer backlog specialist claire hopley

We recently caught up with Four Eyes Insight Senior Consultant and Cancer Specialist, Claire Hopley to learn more about the cancer backlog and what it means for the NHS.

Having worked in clinical and operational roles at Trust level and within a Cancer Alliance, Claire brings a wealth of knowledge to the Four Eyes Insight Team.

Tell us about your work in the NHS and how you came to be at Four Eyes Insight?

I have worked in the NHS for the last 16 years in clinical and operational roles, focussing most recently on quality and service improvement. I have worked closely with both clinical and non-clinical teams to execute national and local delivery plans.

These transformational programmes have included; improving theatre productivity, reducing delays for patients in adult inpatient wards, early diagnosis and faster diagnosis of cancer.

Working at Four Eyes Insight allows me to fully utilise my skills and gives me a variety of projects that I enjoy working on.

What is your take on the current scrutiny around cancer backlogs?

The indirect consequences of the pandemic include delayed diagnosis of cancer, deferred tests and treatment delay.

Cancer backlogs relate to the patients referred for suspected cancer who are awaiting diagnosis. Given that access to diagnostics was challenging pre-pandemic due to increased demand, since covid this has increased further as more patients are coming forward that had previously delayed seeking help. It is very important that we reduce these backlogs as soon as possible to prevent later stage diagnosis, and ensure every patient receives a timely diagnosis so they can start treatment as soon as possible if it is required.

Delayed diagnosis and treatment can impact a person in many ways, it can affect their mental health whilst they are waiting for an outcome, they can experience worsening symptoms or progression of the disease, which could lead to treatment being less successful, they may experience more severe side effects, or the treatment may become palliative rather than curative. This all has an impact on their quality of life as well as their clinical outcomes.

Coming from a cancer alliance, what changes would you recommend to start to alleviate the backlog?

Given my experience working in acute Trusts and coming from a Cancer Alliance, I have a strategic and operational understanding of the pressures the system is under to restore services for cancer patients.

Four Eyes Insight are experts in improving productivity in healthcare and works in partnership with many NHS organisations to address capacity issues and improve patient experience, therefore they are perfectly placed to support organisations to devise and implement ways to reduce backlogs and ensure patients receive the timely care they need.

 

To find out more about the work Four Eyes Insight does in helping reduce the Cancer Backlog, take a look at our latest Case Study: Driving Compliance Against Cancer Standards.