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.