A total of 11 mobile healthcare units are being commissioned to play a vital role in the world’s-largest trial of a revolutionary new blood test.
The units, from EMS Healthcare, will be utilised as part of the NHS-Galleri trial, developed by US firm, GRAIL.
The aim is to recruit 140,000 participants in England aged between 50-77 and with no history of cancer in the last three years.
Participants will be screened for more than 50 types of cancer – including those that are hard to detect in their early stages, such as pancreatic, head and neck, ovarian, and oesophageal cancers.
Initial results of the study are expected by 2023 and, if successful, the NHS in England plans to extend the rollout to a further one million people in 2024/2025.
Patients whose cancer is found early – known as stage one or two – typically have a broader range of treatment options available to them, which can be curative and are often less aggressive.
A patient whose cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage typically has between five and 10 times the chance of surviving compared with those found at ‘stage four.’
EMS Group is providing 11 mobile healthcare spaces and recruiting over 120 clinical staff to work on the units for the trial.
EMS Healthcare clinical services manager, Helen Jones, said: “I’ve been meeting people across the country as part of the recruitment process and their excitement to be part of something truly ground-breaking is apparent in everyone we meet.
I’ve been meeting people across the country as part of the recruitment process and their excitement to be part of something truly ground-breaking is apparent in everyone we meet
“Their role is critical to the success of the trial, and we have an amazing team who can’t wait to get started.”
Sir Harpal Kumar, president of Grail Europe, added: “Using mobile clinics for this study is important for two reasons. The first is that we want to be able to access as many people as possible in the population and by using mobile clinics, we can go to locations that are easier for volunteers to get to.
“Second, we didn’t want to increase the burden on the NHS. The mobile clinics give us an opportunity to undertake the study in all the ways we need to, without adding more pressure on the NHS.
“EMS brings the expertise and the clinics look fantastic. It’s important the volunteers taking part in this study feel comfortable and relaxed and the environment and design of these clinics absolutely achieves that.”
And EMS Group chief executive, Keith Austin, said: “This project could lead to extraordinary advances for the detection and treatment of cancer.
“We look forward to working together with the NHS, GRAIL, Cancer Research UK, and King’s College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit, and our other supporting partners on what could prove to be a truly-transformative project.”