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'Staff wellbeing is crucial for patient safety'

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Macmillan Cancer Support response to annual nursing survey

The findings of your annual survey (Nurses blame fall in staff for raise in workforce pressures, Wednesday 16th January) are extremely worrying and reflect similar concerns that Macmillan Cancer Support has regarding staff wellbeing.

Good health and wellbeing for all NHS staff is of course imperative and as this survey highlights there are also other serious consequences that come from a stressed and unsupported workforce. Macmillan research reveals that around nine in 10 (92%) cancer healthcare professionals said that being stressed was a real barrier to them delivering high quality care.

People enter the nursing profession to provide the best care for patients, but they are currently under huge pressure and struggling to cope with current complex requirements. We know that this picture is only going to get worse with increasing demands on their services.

These findings cannot be ignored, and we urge Health Education England, NHS England, charities and other key bodies to act on the Cancer Strategy recommendation and review the cancer workforce to plan for future need and demonstrate that staff wellbeing is crucial for patient safety.

Jacquie Graves, Head of Health and Social Care at Macmillan Cancer Support, responds to annual nursing survey

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