Full team ahead: Understanding the UK non-surgical cancer treatments workforce

Burns K, Meredith M, Williams M, Huxley C, Pallesen C |   | Cancer Research UK | Dec 2017

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This report published by Cancer Research UK presents the findings from research undertaken by IES in partnership with 2020 Delivery into the UK's non-surgical oncology workforce. The research identified the current and future needs, capacity and skills of this workforce to provide optimal treatment to the UK population.

With more than 360,000 people in the UK being diagnosed with cancer each year, an optimal workforce is essential to ensuring that treatment can be provided to meet the needs of patients throughout the UK. This research also sits in a context of an ageing population, often with comorbidities, where the treatment of cancer has become more complex.

The research involved analysis of the current non-surgical oncology workforce data; a survey of over 2,500 members of the workforce; in-depth interviews with workforce staff; and expert advise from health professionals.

The report highlights staff shortages with, for example, nearly three in four survey respondents identifying staff shortages as a barrier to providing efficient cancer treatments and excellent patient experience. It also breaks down its analysis of the workforce into various groups, such as clinical scientists, oncologists and pharmacists. The report concludes with recommendations for stakeholders, such as Health Education England and NHS Digital.