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NHS workforce boost planned

Health Education England (HEE) has published a long-awaited plan for how to tackle staffing issues in NHS cancer services.

NHS nurse and patient

It acknowledges that more staff are needed, including pathologists, radiologists, radiographers and endoscopists.

The plans were unveiled at the Britain Against Cancer Conference by Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt and promise over 5000 extra staff by 2021.

They focus on two key groups of NHS staff: those who diagnose cancer and those who treat it.

The plans includes 668 extra clinical radiologists, 316 extra gastroenterologists, 94 extra histopathologists, 2227 extra diagnostic radiographers.

They also include 200 existing health professionals trained to do endoscopies and 300 radiographers trained to interpret scans.

The report’s executive summary says: “The prevalence of cancer is forecast to increase, and scientific and technological innovations offer the potential to transform our ability to prevent, diagnose, treat and care for people affected.

“We know that some key parts of the workforce are under pressure now and unless we take action then we may not have enough staff with the right skills to deliver the Cancer Taskforce Strategy.”

A longer-term approach will be developed alongside HEE’s wider workforce strategy, which is due to be published in the summer of 2018.  

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Picture credit | Alamy

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