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Nurse shortage ‘delaying treatment for 21% of UK cancer patients’

More than 600,000 cancer patients in the UK are facing treatment delays or missing out on vital support because of a shortage of specialist nurses, a new report from Macmillan Cancer Support reveals.

One in five of all those living with cancer (21%) are lacking dedicated support. The NHS is suffering from a “shocking” shortfall of 3,000 specialist nurses in England alone, according to the analysis by Macmillan Cancer Support.

As a result, cancer patients are struggling with medication, having hospital appointments cancelled because there are not enough staff or experiencing devastating delays to chemotherapy. In some cases, patients are ending up in A&E.

Patricia Marquis, England director of the Royal College of Nursing, warned the workforce crisis was having a “devastating impact” on people living with cancer. “Expertise built up over many years is lost very quickly and it is patients who pay the price, as this report shows,” she added.

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Source: The Guardian, 8 September 2021


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