Prehab4Cancer adds another accolade to its growing list of achievements

Our multi award-winning Prehab4Cancer (P4C) Programme run in partnership with GM Cancer, has added another accolade to its growing list of achievements.

It has won the innovation award at this year’s UKactive Awards, the fourth time the programme has been recognised for its pioneering work following two wins at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards and the patients’ choice award at the inaugural GM Cancer Awards.

P4C is offered to patients with lung, bowel and oesophagus-gastric (often referred to as upper GI) cancers and enables them to engage in exercise, nutrition, and wellbeing assessments and interventions before, during and after their treatment.

It has supported more than 3,000 patients across Greater Manchester since its inception 2019 and has since expanded into areas of Cheshire.

The UKactive judges applauded P4C ‘for being both important and revolutionary in delivering prehabilitation and recovery programmes for those managing a cancer diagnosis’.

P4C programme leader Jack Murphy says: “A cancer diagnosis can have a massive impact on a person, and increasing physical activity levels while waiting for cancer treatment is often the last thing on a person’s mind. But with physical activity and our support, people can take a proactive role in their own care and have a  positive impact their outcomes.As a result, they feel empowered to take back control of the diagnosis, whilst optimising their physical and mental condition to better cope with the rigours of cancer-related treatment. We can’t always control what life throws at us. However, we can control how prepared we are to face these life events and physical activity can be a key to this.”

Independent research that secured recurrent funding for the Greater Manchester scheme found that P4C hospital patients were able to be discharged home sooner and enjoyed a better recovery.

Headline results for colorectal patients included:

  • Prehab patients on average spent 36 hours less time in hospital
  • Prehab patients on average spent 10 hours less in hospital critical care

The shorter hospital stays ‘released’ 550 ward beds days and 146 critical care bed days, resulting in increased capacity and patient flow. Bed days ‘released’ from 1,000 colorectal prehab patients enables 179 additional patients to access timely surgery. Bed days ‘released’ per prehab patient cover the costs involved in setting up and delivering P4C for a year.

Patients experienced fewer post-operative complications and enjoyed a better recovery when assessed against four efficacy benchmarks: the commonly used six-minute walk test to measure aerobic capacity and endurance; the World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS); the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the descriptive system for health-related quality of life, known as EQ5D.

Speaking after P4C won Best Not for Profit Working in Partnership with the NHS award from the Health Service Journal (HSJ), Dr John Moore, P4C’s clinical director of prehabilitation and recovery, said: “Prehab4Cancer is now seen as an exemplar for prehab, and how we do it.

“We work with colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the north of England, Canada, Australia, and America, all because of the work we have done in this part of the world. To be able to say we represent Greater Manchester on a UK and international footing is absolutely phenomenal.”

The strategy now is to extend the prehabilitation principle to more cancers, with a 10-year ambition to be treating up to 10,000 patients a year. This could grow the workforce up to 40 Level 3 exercise instructors and 40 Level 4 exercise specialists.

Co-designed and recurrently funded

Prehab 4 Cancer is a co-designed transformation programme between GM Active and GM Cancer. What began as a test project in 2019 has now secured the recurrent funding to safeguard its future.

GM Active is a collective of 12 leisure and community organisations across Greater Manchester all sharing the same vision – to get more people physically active so they can live healthy, happy and longer lives. It is a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC), which manages the majority of publicly owned leisure and physical activity services on behalf of the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester.

You can read more about our P4C programme here.

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We are actively seeking new partners, opportunities for collaboration and innovative ways of working.  We can’t do this alone. If our plans, purpose and intent chime with you, please do connect with us and be part of our transformational movement.