'Dedicated' clinician who has improved cancer outcomes in Leeds and the country to retire

A 'dedicated' clinician who has improved cancer outcomes in Leeds and the rest of the country is set to retire at the end of September.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:45 am

Professor Sean Duffy works jointly as Leeds Cancer Programme Strategic Clinical Lead, Programme Director and Clinical Programme Lead and Alliance Lead for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, as well as until very recently holding his clinical surgery sessions at St James’s Hospital.

At the end of this month, "prominent and dedicated strategist and clinician" Professor Duffy - who has worked tirelessly to improve cancer outcomes in Leeds and both regionally and nationally - is set to retire.

According to NHS Leeds, Professor Duffy has always been a strong advocate, champion and clinician for cancer patients and their services.

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Professor Sean Duffy works jointly as Leeds Cancer Programme Strategic Clinical Lead, Programme Director and Clinical Programme Lead and Alliance Lead for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance Pic: NHS Leeds

For many years, over his extensive career, he has held strategic positions which allow organisations to work better together to create improved services and patient experience.

Before returning to join the Leeds and regional health and care system in 2016, Professor Duffy was the National Clinical Director of Cancer for NHS England for three years, in which he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of cancer care for England.

Professor Sean Duffy, Leeds Cancer Programme Strategic Clinical Lead and Programme Director and West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance Clinical Programme Lead and Alliance Lead said: “I have been fortunate to have worked for so long in cancer care and to be able to help improve the quality of care at local, regional, and national levels.

"It has been an honour to serve on behalf of people affected by cancer and to work with such dedicated colleagues over the many years.”

He will retire to spend time in West Cork, Ireland, with his family.

Tim Ryley, CEO, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Professor Duffy has been a wonderful servant of the people of Leeds.

"I have only known him in the last few years but am very conscious that alongside his knowledge and wisdom he embedded values of compassion and collaboration that have been instrumental in delivering personal care for his patients and improving the system, not just in Leeds, but across West Yorkshire for the way that we support people living with cancer. Thank you and enjoy whatever follows.”

Prior to the Lead Cancer role Professor Duffy was the Chair of the Cancer and Blood Programme of Care, NHS England and Chair of the Specialised Cancer Clinical Reference Group, NHS England.

Before taking up these roles he already had extensive understanding of the Leeds and regional Health and Care systems in his roles as Clinical Director, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust; Director of Learning and Teaching, University of Leeds, School of Medicine; and Director and Medical Director, Yorkshire Cancer Network.

Professor Duffy has extensive published research and a strong platform of research work encompassing Heath Services Research (HSR), endometrial function and dysfunction, and medical education.

He is currently Chief investigator for Machine Learning for Cancer Risk, University of Leeds and an advisor for the Prolaris project to predict high risk prostate cancer.

Alongside these roles, Professor Duffy also provides a full range of gynaecology out-patient services (diagnostic and treatment) and holds a regular operating session.

Professor Duffy has also received prestigious awards including the Ethicon Travelling Fellowship (RCOG), William Blair-Bell Lectureship (RCOG) and Bernard Baron Travelling Fellowship (RCOG).

Leeds Cancer Programme is a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support, the NHS in Leeds and Leeds City Council to transform cancer services across the city.