Make sure the NHS has enough staff to meet future demand for prostate cancer services
The NHS Long Term Plan includes an ambition to diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2 by 2028. However, in a report in 2019 the National Audit Office warned that staff shortages may result in NHS funding not being used optimally or not being spent. Without investment in the NHS workforce, the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan may not be met.
In addition, Macmillan’s 2017 nursing census found there is only one cancer nurse specialist (CNS) for every 145 urological cancer patients diagnosed, the nearest comparator is lung cancer with 108 diagnoses per nurse. Prostate Cancer UK estimates that an additional 500 CNSs will be needed by 2028.
We want to see political parties and candidates committing to make sure that the NHS and health education bodies are able to train and recruit the staff needed to meet the country’s ambitions for future cancer care.