Optimal Care Pathway for pancreatic cancer

The Optimal Care Pathway for pancreatic cancer initiative 

We know the diagnosis, support, care, and treatment people with pancreatic cancer receive varies across regions and nations. We want to Transform Care, Everywhere so it doesn’t matter if you live in Suffolk or the Scottish Highlands, the care and treatment you should receive as a person with pancreatic cancer is the best care, regardless of where you live.  

In September 2021, we launched a new initiative to design and implement an Optimal Care Pathway for pancreatic cancer. The Optimal Care Pathway aims to reduce variation in the care and treatment for people with pancreatic cancer. It will map out what an individual should expect in terms of their care and treatment based on the best available evidence and clinical knowledge. 

Bringing the pancreatic cancer community together 

To support the  Optimal Care Pathway, we have created a Steering Committee bringing together a breadth and depth of expertise across all levels of the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. To ensure that the voices of those affected by pancreatic cancer are at the heart of what we do, we also have members with a personal connection to pancreatic cancer represented on the committee.

Meet the members of the Steering Committee of the Optimal Care Pathway for pancreatic cancer 

Map of Optimal Care Pathway steering committee as of November 2024
Map of Optimal Care Pathway steering committee as of November 2024

Meet the Chair and Vice Chair of the Steering Committee of the Optimal Care Pathway for pancreatic cancer 

Our Chair: Professor Paula Ghaneh - Professor of Surgery in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at University of Liverpool

Professor Paula Ghaneh is a pancreatic surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Liverpool and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. She has led clinical trials in pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment. She is Chair of Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) Clinical Research Monitoring Panel and member of CRUK Clinical Research Committee. She is Chair of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Task and Finish Group on Suspected Cancer Timed Pathways for Upper GI. She is a member of national committees including NHS England HPB CRG, NHS England Innovation Expert Advisory Group, NICE technology appraisal committee and the NCRI pancreatic subgroup. She is a member of PCUK’s Scientific Advisory Board and we are honoured that she has agreed to be Chair of our Optimal Care Pathway.

Our Vice Chair: Mary Phillips - Senior Specialist Dietitian (hepato-pancreatico-biliary surgery) at Royal Surrey County Hospital

Mary Phillips graduated from the University of Surrey as a Dietitian in 2000, and has worked in the hepato-pancreatico-biliary (HPB) surgical team at the Royal Surrey County Hospital since 2005. She was President of the Pancreatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (2013-2014) and is chair of the Nutrition Interest Group of the Pancreatic Society (NIGPS). She is currently undertaking her PhD looking at the long-term impact of pancreatic surgery on quality of life and nutritional status. Mary has continuously supported various of the charity, such us delivery of training events and Transform Lives: Prescribe campaign.

Launching our Optimal Care Pathway

In October 2023, we launched our Optimal Care Pathway with a campaign, calling on decision makers to fund the Optimal Care Pathway, an event, bringing together our community, and a report, outlining in detail what our vision for an Optimal Care Pathway should look like.

Read more about our recommendations in our report

Making the Optimal Care Pathway a reality across the UK

We’re now working with our Optimal Care Pathway steering committee to drive implementation of the Optimal Care Pathway across the UK, to ensure everyone with pancreatic cancer can live long and well and have the best chance of survival.

If you’d like to find out more about the Optimal Care Pathway and the next phase of the initiative, please get in touch with us at policy@pancreaticcancer.org.uk