Prehab4Cancer is a free exercise, nutrition and wellbeing scheme. It has been designed by a team of NHS professionals and exercise experts, based on latest research.

Project Timeline

Original timeline as produced at the beginning of the programme. Please note the programme received sustained funding in 2021 and is no longer a transformation project.

Prehab4Cancer is provided in leisure facilities across Greater Manchester, which means that often patients can access the service close to their home.

The aim is to help patients (and their loved ones) to cope with cancer treatment and feel better, physically and mentally. Prehab4Cancer is designed to help people take an active role in their cancer care and live as well as possible with and beyond cancer.

Greater Manchester Cancer is the cancer programme of Greater Manchester’s devolved health and social care system. Greater Manchester Cancer has a broad focus, from prevention and early diagnosis to living with and beyond cancer and end of life care. the programme includes, amongst other things, the work of the Pathway Boards that were set up through Manchester Cancer and the work taking place in Greater Manchester as part of the national cancer vanguard.

GM Active is a collective of 12 leisure and community organisations from across Greater Manchester that are all part of the same movement – to get more people physically active. The group accounts for 87 leisure and sports facilities across the region, with a combined reach of 30 million visits a year, playing a major role in the health of our communities.

Prehab4Cancer is co-designed with our patient engagement representatives. This is a mixture of people who have been treated for cancer themselves or those who have been a family member, carer or friend of someone with cancer, from the Greater Manchester area.

We aim to have at least one user involvement representative attending all meetings and events related to the design and delivery of this service.

We facilitated our first prehab4cancer patient engagement focus group in November 2018 where we were able to capture all the vital comments and contributions made visually in a mural created during this event. The outputs of this focus group has directly influenced the further design of our programme and helped us to understand patient and family members’ perspectives, key to the successful delivery of this project. Since the project launch we have started running regular feedback sessions with participants. Their feedback will be fed into the development of the Prehab4Cancer programme in future.

Our Team

John Moore
John Moore
Dr John Moore is the Clinical Director for the Prehab4Cancer programme. He is the Medical Director on the ERAS+ programme and is the Clinical Head of Division for Anaesthesia, Peri-Operative Medicine and Critical Care Services at Central Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. He is a Consultant in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine and a National Innovation Accelerator Fellow for NHS England.
John was one of the co-chairs for the ‘Physical Activity’ group which informed the joint Macmillan and Royal College of Anaesthetist development of UK wide principles and guidance for prehabilitation in oncology (2019).
Zoe Merchant
Zoe Merchant
Zoe Merchant is the AHP Clinical Lead for Prehab4Cancer. She has been a specialist Occupational Therapist for 15 years with a background in neurological and physical rehabilitation and in mental health services. She has previously established several NHS rehabilitation services for patients with a wide range of conditions, for which she was nominated for the NHS Leadership Academy ‘Emerging Leader’ award (2014). Zoe is a member of the national Macmillan AHP Expert Group and was shortlisted for the AHA Macmillan award for leadership & innovation in cancer rehabilitation (2019). She has produced universal prehab resources in partnership with CRUK: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/prehabilitation.
Karen McEwan
Karen McEwan
Dr Karen McEwan has been a GP for over 20 years and a Macmillan GP since 2012. She is a GP representative on 2 Greater Manchester Cancer Pathway Boards.
Karen has been instrumental in developing and implementing various innovation projects in Stockport, including tele-dermatology, symptomatic FIT pilot, Health and Well-being events for cancer survivors and a multi-disciplinary breathlessness clinic. In addition to this, she has delivered multiple education events to primary care professionals.
Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves
Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves
Kirsty Rowlinson-Groves is the GM Active Programme Manager for the Prehab4Cancer programme. She is a specialist exercise instructor with nearly 10 years’ experience working with patients with long-term health conditions to improve their physical health and mental wellbeing through exercise and activity. In her previous role she developed the Salford CAN-Move rehabilitation programme for cancer patients, one of the first cancer rehabilitation services nationally. She is level 4 cancer rehabilitation qualified. Her work on the CAN-Move programme and the Prehab4Cancer programme led to her winning the GM Mayoral Award for ‘Commitment to getting GM Moving’ at the 2019 Greater Manchester Sports Awards.

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