Chair of cancer charity Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC), Dr Dave Hobin, has become an official affiliate member of the newly amalgamated NHS England Children and Young People’s Cancer Clinical Reference Group (CRG).

The group of medical experts was created in 2016, when two separate existing groups – for children, teenagers and young adults, were merged to streamline the National Programme of Care for Cancer put in place by NHS England. The group brings together a spectrum of professionals with a wide range of expertise in the field to constructively review, assess and ultimately, improve cancer services that are currently available for young patients.

Dave will be involved in a series of integral work streams, including a review of current services for children and young people with cancer. His background as Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital and role as TYAC Chair means he brings an extremely specialised knowledge of this population to the group, enabling it to assess whether these centres provide the most suitable pathways for patients.

TYAC is the UK's only membership body for professionals involved in the care of teenagers and young adults (TYA) with cancer and was encouraged to apply to join the CRG by its Chair, Dr Rachael Hough – who is also a TYAC member. She said: “It was very important for TYAC to have a voice within the CRG for Children and Young People and as the organisations Chair, Dave was the ideal candidate.

“The organisation is leading the way in TYA care, championing the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care for this age group, so Dave’s contribution to the group will be invaluable for improving the services this country currently has in place.”

 The review includes a significant focus on the designation of, and relationship between, Principle Treatment Centres and Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Units, as was recommended within the Cancer Taskforce report in 2015. The group will also look at issues such as prompt diagnosis, access to clinical trials and geographical spread of specialist centres for young people with cancer. Findings from the group’s multiple work streams are fed back to the overarching National Programme of Care in order to help the NHS improve services, survival rates and patient experience in England.

Dr Dave Hobin said: “It’s a privilege to be accepted into the Children and Young People’s CRG. These groups are essential in providing expert feedback to enable our NHS to deliver its cancer strategy effectively and it’s brilliant that TYAC can be a part of that. We strive to keep our members fully informed with the latest developments in the field. Being part of this group will allow us to keep all members up to date with news, research and progress to help them provide better and more targeted care for young people with cancer.”

There are currently five Clinical Reference Groups under the cancer branch of the NHS National Programme of Care and the Cancer Taskforce published its strategy for improving cancer survival rates in July 2015. Each group plays an essential part in enabling the NHS to deliver on these outcomes.