Developing open source tools and support materials to enable non-expert GIS users to measure geographical accessibility to screening and cancer support services in relation to small area trends in cancer incidence

Richard WilliamsStudent: Richard Williams
Supervisor: Professor Gary Higgs
Location: University of South Wales
Cancer Type: All – Geographical accessibility to treatment
Start and End Date: Oct 2016 – Sep 2019

The PhD studentship will build on previously published peer-reviewed research conducted in the GIS Research Centre of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science, developing small area measures of geographical accessibility to a range of public services including primary and secondary health care (Langford et al., 2016). To date, measures of access to health services such as screening have tended to be based on relatively simplistic measures of accessibility such as the nearest straight-line distance to such services or the numbers of facilities found within a particular administrative area.

The proposed research will directly meet Tenovus Cancer Care’s primary aim to provide support and enable treatment to cancer patients and their families closer to home. It will do this by developing open source tools with which to examine spatial variations in the provision of cancer services in Wales and which account for both supply-side characteristics (to include for example types of screening available and the facilities at individual sites) with potential service demand (for example in relation to spatial trends in cancer incidence) in order to provide a potentially more sophisticated measure of variations in provision across Wales.

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