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Majority of chemo units working 'at or over capacity'

Two thirds of chemotherapy units are working at full capacity or beyond, according to a small survey of specialist cancer nurses.  

The survey was completed by 83 members of the UK Oncology Nursing Society. It found 40% of nurses considered their chemotherapy unit to be “full to capacity” while 27% said theirs was “over capacity”.

A further 28% considered their unit was “busy but manageable” and just 6% thought current levels of capacity were “comfortable”.

The survey also found that 25% thought capacity issues were having a “significant negative impact” on patient care, while 46% reported “some negative impact”.

In addition, 87% said capacity issues were having either “some negative impact” or a “significant negative impact” on their job satisfaction.

The survey was carried out by Kate Denby, a haematology nurse specialist at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. The results were presented on a poster at the society’s annual conference in Harrogate on 18 October.

On average, respondents estimated that 39% of nursing time was spent administering oncology medicines – including preparation, administration and aftercare.

The survey was partly funded by the pharmaceutical company Roche.

Readers' comments (1)

  • In the context of this short article what does "overcapacity" mean ?

    Have we found a means of putting two patients in one bed ? Maybe we now have bunk beds ----

    How do people receive treatment if the ward is "overcapacity" ?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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