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Ovarian cancer patients lack access to specialist nurses

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Women with ovarian cancer are not getting access to the right specialist clinical professionals, according to analysis by a charity.

Target Ovarian Cancer, which looked at data originally collated by the government arm’s-length body Public Health England, wants all ovarian cancer patients to have access to a specialist nurse.

“We’re calling for every woman with ovarian cancer to have access to a clinical nurse specialist”

Sharon Tate

The charity said the data showed that 33% of women with ovarian cancer either did not have a named nurse they could contact with worries about their cancer care, while a further 6% did not even know if they had one.

Alarmingly, 19% women with ovarian cancer said that they did not know who to contact if they had concerns about living with cancer, noted the charity in a statement issued today.

Sharon Tate, head of primary care development for Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Clinical nurse specialists play a vital role in supporting women with ovarian cancer.

“It’s extremely worrying that some women are not provided with the right support to help make their cancer journey easier,” she said. “That’s why we’re calling for every woman with ovarian cancer to have access to a clinical nurse specialist.”

Vickie Gadd, a clinical nurse specialist from Kent, added: “Dealing with the constraints that the NHS presents is challenging to make sure that you are still able to effectively facilitate a smooth patient journey, but it is immensely rewarding to be able to communicate with people in a way so that even at a time of real worry, you can ease their concern.”

Target Ovarian Cancer is also relaunching a resource for gynaecological cancer clinical nurse specialists.

The first of its kind, the CNS Hub was originally launched in 2013. It is an information portal designed specifically for specialist nurses, with the aim of making it easier for them to support women with ovarian cancer.

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