Severe workforce shortages must be addressed for NHS to meet cancer commitments

02 September 2019

Responding to new figures from Cancer Research UK on cancer diagnosis and NHS workforce shortages, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

“We know that the demand for NHS cancer services will continue to rise, so we need to have the specialist workforce, equipment and treatments in place to meet this challenge.

“Delays for patients starting treatment can have a real and serious impact on the treatment options available to them and how effective it is.

“Trusts are working hard to meet the growing number of patients referred under the two-week target. But an increase in demand for diagnostic tests, combined with workforce shortages and an inability to invest in new scanners and machines are all contributing to delays for patients.

But an increase in demand for diagnostic tests, combined with workforce shortages and an inability to invest in new scanners and machines are all contributing to delays for patients.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

“Workforce shortages are severe. It leaves trusts struggling to ensure they have the range of specialists needed to carry out tests and report the outcomes within the expected timeframe. The shortages of endoscopists and radiologists are particularly serious.

“The NHS is committed to improving cancer care and outcomes as part of its long term plan. But to do this, we must see investment in education and training to make sure we are safeguarding these skills within the service. We also need to see more capital investment in the equipment needed to both diagnose and treat cancer.”

 

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