Radiotherapy: Staff

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 23 May 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the UK Radiotherapy Board report Recovering radiotherapy services in England: Our plan for action, published in May, what assessment they have made of the finding that "a relatively small increase in staff funding would make a big difference to patient care".

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Whilst no assessment has been made of this finding, the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP) sets out the steps the National Health Service and its partners need to take to deliver an NHS workforce that meets the changing needs of the population over the next 15 years. It will put the workforce on a sustainable footing for the long term.

The Government is backing the LTWP with over £2.4 billion over the next five years, to fund additional education and training places. This is on top of increases to education and training investment, reaching a record total of £6.1 billion over the next two years. By significantly expanding domestic education, training, and recruitment, we will have more healthcare professionals working in the NHS. This will include more doctors and nurses, alongside an expansion in a range of other professions, including more staff working in new roles. The LTWP also commits to reform and modernise the way staff work, and harness new technology and innovations to increase productivity and make sure staff can spend more time with patients.

In January 2024 there were 35,252 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in the cancer workforce, an increase of 60.7% since January 2010. This includes 8,142 FTE consultants in January 2024, an increase of 69.6% since January 2010. There are 3,144 FTE therapeutic radiographers working in NHS trusts and other core organisations in England. This is 4.3% more than in 2023, 14.6% more than in 2019, and 55.2% more than in 2010.

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