This alarming shortage of cancer nurses demands action – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Heather McLean, Macmillan Head of Partnerships for the North of England.

The Government is being urged to act over cancer care provision.

NEW research by Macmillan Cancer Support shows the alarming cost of ongoing cancer nursing shortages on the NHS and on cancer patient care.

The charity estimates that more than 3,000 additional cancer nurses are needed in England alone to ensure patients get the care and support they need.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Not only would a fully- resourced specialist nursing workforce help save and improve patients’ lives, it would reduce pressure on the NHS as it struggles to cope with the impact of Covid-19.

Rishi Sunak is under pressure to act over cancer care.

Rishi Sunak’s own constituency in North Yorkshire is part of a Cancer Alliance with the highest percentage of specialist cancer nurses aged 50 or over in England (54 per cent).

As many of these specialists are nearing retirement age, we are not doing enough to ensure that their expertise is replaced, adding yet more pressure onto an already overstretched workforce.

Macmillan wants the Chancellor to acknowledge and address this ticking time bomb; he needs to ensure there are enough staff to provide patients with the quality of care they need and deserve.

Macmillan is calling on the Government to create a ringfenced Cancer Nurse Fund of £124m to train an extra 3,371 specialist cancer nurses in England. We need to double the number of cancer nurses by 2030.

Without this, the Government risks failing on commitments to treat cancer quickly and appropriately, leaving thousands of patients across the region struggling to access their care.

From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

ONCE again a Westminster-based government has fallen into the trap of announcing proposals to manage a crisis (this time health and social care) that amounts to “too little, too late”.

In the case of the additional funding of £5.4bn to be set against the appalling backlog of operations due to the pandemic, this will not be enough, such is the scale of the problems which were evident before Covid-19.

Where are we as a nation with an NHS going to find the extra hospital and medical staff to tackle the backlog, with a demoralised workforce and hundreds leaving the service for other jobs and early retirement?

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe.