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Cancer teams lacking specialist nurse

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Nearly a quarter of multidisciplinary cancer teams in some specialties may not have a clinical nurse specialist, ministers have conceded.

The government’s Cancer Reform Strategy, published in December 2007, called on commissioners to pay ‘particular attention’ to ensuring adequate CNS provision.

But around 20% of local MDTs in gynaecology, lung and urology cancers are without a CNS, according to the national cancer peer-review programme.

The worst cover was in upper gastrointestinal cancer where 31% of MDTs had no CNS.

The information was provided by junior health minister Ann Keen in reply to a parliamentary question. She said the data was gathered between November 2004 and March 2007 and did not ‘necessarily reflect the current position’.

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