Cancer: Nurses

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th July 2022.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the estimated shortfall of 3000 cancer nurse specialists, according to Macmillan Cancer Support's 2021 statistics, who are trained in providing emotional and psychological support; and what plans he has to tackle that shortfall.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

In 2022/23, Health Education England (HEE) is investing an additional £50 million to expand the cancer and diagnostics workforce, including cancer nurse specialists. It is the responsibility of individual employers to ensure that the appropriate staff are recruited, trained and competent to carry out these roles, including in providing emotional and psychological support. HEE is working with stakeholders, including Macmillan Cancer Support, to develop a programme to support nurses working in the cancer care pathway. This includes a career and education capabilities framework.

In July 2021, the Department commissioned HEE to update the existing long term strategic framework for the health workforce. This will address long term workforce demand and supply and its impact on the future workforce. The Department has also commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term plan for workforce and its conclusions will be available in due course.

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