One of our key projects to transform and improve cancer care is up for a prestigious HSJ award. Our RAPID (Rapid Access to Prostate Imaging and Diagnosis) project is one of 10 projects shortlisted for the HSJ Acute Sector Innovation Award from a strong competitive field of 49 submissions.

RAPID aims to change standard UK practice in the diagnosis of men with suspected prostate cancer. NHS England, through the Cancer Transformation Fund, funded the three pilots across west London; Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals in collaboration with The Royal Marsden and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Pilot data show that undergoing MRI pre-biopsy can allow one-third to one-half of men to be discharged on the same day knowing they have no cancer or unimportant disease. Men who require biopsy undergo an image-fusion biopsy, which is a precise technique that overlays MRI with live ultrasound images to target suspicious areas.

This approach has enabled us to detect more significant cancers, detect fewer insignificant cancers and has virtually eliminated biopsy-related sepsis as the procedure is done via the skin and not the rectum. Our RAPID approach is now being adopted in other UK centres and regions.

The HSJ awards are designed to shine a spotlight on the projects that work for the benefit of the NHS and its patients, and recognise and celebrate the best in innovation and partnership.

The judges were looking for projects that have not only come up with new ideas but are also improving patient care and outcomes by identifying and spreading best practice, and where possible working in partnership to solve particularly challenging problems.

We are extremely proud that the ambition and achievements of the project and team have been acknowledged and recognised. The winner of the HSJ Acute Sector Innovation Award will be announced at an awards ceremony on 21 November.