The recent Independent Cancer Taskforce report highlighted the need to address the critical gap in the cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) workforce.
CNSs are a core part of multi-disciplinary teams, assessing people’s needs, planning and coordinating their care and facilitating communication between care settings and professionals. There is also a strong correlation between good experience of care with access to a CNS, as demonstrated year on year by the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.
Unfortunately, there are simply not enough CNSs to meet the current demand for their services, let alone future demand.
Therefore, Macmillan has committed to work with educators, providers, and commissioners to close the gap between supply and demand for CNS posts across all regions. We’re doing this in 3 ways:
- investing in more posts
- influencing others to create more posts and
- re-establishing a development programme to support nurses to move into specialist roles.
We’re also continuing to explore ways to deliver personalised care that is appropriate to the individual’s level of need, including testing new roles that complement the CNS role.
In these challenging times, we remain strongly committed to increasing the numbers of CNS posts so that everyone affected by cancer has access to the specialist support they need.