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Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance logo

Principles of Cancer Care Programme

Cancer Support Worker in an office

The Principles of Cancer Care Programme (PCCP) is delivered to groups of 14 on a virtual platform and offers you the opportunity to share and learn with others working in similar roles.The course is suitable for all healthcare staff working in a supportive/assistive role who are working with people affected by cancer or who may have a potential cancer diagnosis.

The PCCP is aligned to the capabilities in practice within the ACCEND education framework and is ideal for those who have completed the e-learning Foundations of Cancer Care course and wish to enhance their knowledge within their current role (The Foundations of Cancer Care course can be found on the NHS Learning Hub).

The course has been designed in collaboration with Cancer Support Workers, Cancer Navigators and Cancer Coordinators ensuring that content is relevant and practical for those working within the supportive cancer environment. Participants also have the opportunity to learn and share with colleagues from across the country whilst putting new skills into practice in a relaxed and safe virtual learning place.



Learning written on a chalkboard

Programme Content

Introduction to the course

Fundamentals of cancer and its treatment

Health inequalities in cancer care

National screening programmes

Understanding a patients experience of cancer

Responsibilities and boundaries of supportive cancer roles

The supportive and assistive workforce and the ACCEND programme

Useful resources

Q&A session with the workforce in Cheshire & Merseyside

The Enhanced Communication Skills Day has been created in collaboration with an external company, ‘Frontline’. Real-life case scenario’s will be presented by actors.

Content of the day will include:

Facilitating behaviours      

Patients that do not want to talk

Paralanguage and body language

Handling difficult questions 

Blocking behaviours 

Unrealistic Expectations 

The ‘Thinking Environment’ 

Communicating with people with a disability 

Structuring a conversation 

Working with colleagues 

Dealing with anger

Psychological skills and Self-care

The advent of covid has changed the cancer workforce landscape. The supportive cancer workforce has shifted into a frontline position, often being the first point of contact for patients and their families/carers. Our Cancer Support Workers, Cancer Navigators, and Cancer Care Coordinators tell us that they are now far more exposed to emotional conversations and challenging situations.

The knowledge and skills learned from the Enhanced Communication Skills day link in with real-life case studies as part of our two-day psychological skills sessions. Here, you will be able to make sense of patients’ experiences, understand psychological distress, and learn and practice some low-level interventions. We will also discuss recognising signs of low mood and depression and help you to be clear about the competencies and capabilities associated with your role.

We will discuss how using communication skills can enable a positive outcome in personalised care and support planning (Holistic Needs Assessments) and how to manage some of the day-to-day challenges within supportive cancer roles.

While working with cancer patients and their families can be highly satisfying, we also recognise that this can be emotionally stressful at times. Therefore, we devote a session to your own self-care and well-being.

There will be plenty of opportunity for small group work to learn and share with colleagues nationally.

Application Process

Please read the following instructions carefully.


Applicants are required to commit to attending all 4 days of the course in order to fully benefit from the course’s occupationally relevant content. Additionally, applicants must have the support of their line manager.

Applicants must have access to a quiet environment, rather than a busy office, in order to participate in the course effectively. They must also have a functioning camera and microphone on their laptop or PC. It is recommended that applicants check their equipment before registering, as participants may be required to switch to another course if their equipment is not working.

Only applications from Workforce Leads or Project Managers from regional Cancer Alliance services will be accepted.

Each Cancer Alliance is requested to submit the names of 2 applicants, along with one reserve, who will be given a place on the November or December courses. Cancer Alliance Leads are asked to distribute relevant information to interested individuals, collect information, and complete and submit applications via MS Forms.

How to Apply

Due to high demand, applications for each course are managed to ensure a fair selection of applicants nationwide. NHSE, in collaboration with the ACCEND program, has commissioned Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance to deliver a further 38 virtual courses between October and March 2025. 

Applications for the below dates are now closed

9th,10th,13th & 14th November 23

23rd,24th, 27th & 28th November 23

30th,1st,4th & 5th December 23 

If you are interested in attending a future course please contact your line manager who will send your name to your Workforce Lead or Project Manager in your regional Cancer Alliance services.

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Principles in Cancer Care Programme: Expression of Interest

To express an interest in completing the programme, please complete the form below.
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