How can we ensure equity for all UK cancer patients?

Roche SDG 3


How can we ensure equity for all UK cancer patients?


Cancer outcomes in the UK are worse than other nations (1). And in more deprived communities, people are more likely to get cancer, more likely to be diagnosed at a late stage for certain cancer types, and have more trouble accessing cancer services. Sadly, they’re also more likely to die from the disease (2).

If we can engage everyone in their healthcare and diagnose cancer earlier we can change these outcomes – even a one week shortening of time to diagnosis can result in a 1% increase in survival.

But how do we do this?

As a pioneer in healthcare Roche is driving ground-breaking scientific and technological advances that have the potential to transform people's lives and reduce healthcare inequalities. But we can’t accomplish this on our own. Only by partnering with the brightest minds in science and healthcare can we best serve the needs of patients.

Roche is excited to support the Lead2030 Challenge for SDG 3, which is inviting innovative UK based companies or individuals to provide solutions to any of the following:

  • Technologies or solutions that address health inequalities and make healthcare more accessible to more people.
  • Shortening the time to diagnosis.
  • How to engage individuals in their own healthcare so they are more likely to recognise the early warning signs of cancer.
  • Ensuring earlier identification of individuals at high risk of cancer.
  • Supporting patient advocacy i.e. ensuring greater awareness and knowledge among patients about about what to expect and the questions to ask.
  • Identifying the appropriate tools to support different patient groups, recognising that digital-first is not always the answer.
  • Connecting with local community organisations that provide access and digital skills support e.g. libraries, community support hubs.
  • Working with and enabling local charities already engage with deprived communities e.g. those working with the homeless or supporting older people, social housing groups, etc.
  • Socially prescribing digital interventions and establishing digital health hubs in the community which help and support people to use digital health tools.

The challenge is open to applications from all types of organisations including social enterprises, charities, community groups, individuals and start-ups.

(1) House of Commons Committees. How can the Government improve cancer outcomes in England?

(2) Cancer Research UK. UK health inequalities: 20,000 more cancer cases a year in the most deprived areas.

Challenge crtieria


Aligned: Evidently aligned with the challenge. See ‘About’.

UK based: Based in the United Kingdom.

Youth-led: Founded by a person aged 18 – 30.

Focused: Well-structured time horizon, identified key stakeholders and beneficiaries, and proposed outcomes that are reasonable and well thought out.

Market ready: Product/service already in market or ready to go to market.

Impactful: Solutions must have a positive social impact, for example generating employment, or developing skills.

Measurable: Impacts of solutions must have been adequately measured and/or be measurable.

Financially viable: Must be able to achieve efficiency and to survive independently through the resources they generate and/or the investments and donations they attract.

Scalable: Potential to perform as well or better after expanding in scope or size and/or being transported to other regions.



The winning solution will receive:

  • A US$50,000 grant from Roche
  • 12 months of mentorship from a team of Roche professionals. The mentorship team will work to accelerate your solution based on the needs of your initiative or organisation, such as:
    • Business strategy
    • Best practices for data collection
    • Monitoring and evaluation
    • Product design



  • 25 July 2021: Applications open.
  • 25 November 2021: Applications close.
  • 3 December 2021: Shortlisted candidates confirmed.
  • 31 January 2022: Lead2030 Challenge Winner confirmed. 

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