Caja support South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Cancer Alliance in their HSJ Award Presentation 


Reduce harmaddress inequalities, and save lives – the main ambition of our wonderful team supporting the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS Cancer Alliance on their “Nudge the Odds” programme, geared towards mobilising primary care and wider health and community partners to increase the early diagnosis of cancer. Indeed, this ambition is what recently led the team to present their work to a panel of judges from the Health Service Journal as they vie for the prestigious 2021 Primary Care Innovation of the Year Award.  

Over the course of the 10-minute presentation, our team delivered a fascinating brief of the project, focussing on the three key concepts that they believe makes us deserving of the win come the ceremony on 18th November this year: 

  • Innovation. Our method of implementing behavioural science to help nudge prospective cancer patients to come forward to book and attend appointments allowed us to step outside the traditional medical model and approach the issue from a more people-oriented perspective. Through working with clinicians and patients to understand when and how people were asked to take action or make decisions within a typical pathway, we were able to identify the key aspects of a patient’s decision-making process that could be targeted by any of the seven nudge toolkits we had developed. Not only this, but our specific focus on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, South Asian, and overseas student communities allowed us to refine the design of our behavioural interventions to specifically address some major societal inequalities.  
  • Collaboration. Key to successfully applying the principles of behavioural science in a practical setting was our ability to effectively collaborate with the amazingly forward-thinking and cooperative clinicians and staff in the trial Primary Care Networks. Primary care staff acted as the real innovators behind the project, being able to connect the whole system to a common goal, including secondary care colleagues and community organisations – a major determinant of our success.  
  • Scale. Finally, despite the challenges faced over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to continue to scale up the project, from humble beginnings in a single GP practice, to a range of settings across Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley, prove that the Nudge the Odds programme is already gaining momentum. As restrictions ease and life begins to return to normality, we anticipate the roll-out of the project to go from strength to strength. With further ambitions of a Behavioural Science Academy, already in advanced stages of planning, and the implementation of similar approaches to wider lifestyle factors, the opportunities really are endless.  

Reduce harm, address inequalities, and save lives. The ambition that started this project is still at its very heart, and whilst we are hugely appreciative of our nomination for this HSJ award, winning would serve only as a bonus to the real life-changing success that our client has already achieved.   

If you would like to find out more about this project, visit