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Securing future cancer care

10 March 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 5

Advances in scientific understanding and technological innovations in cancer have added to both the complexity of the disease and the potential to transform our ability to prevent, diagnose, treat and care for people affected by cancer (PABC).

Aspirant Cancer Career and Education Development (ACCEnD) is a new and ambitious multi-partnership, UK-wide programme that seeks to address significant challenges and issues that have faced the nursing and allied health professionals (AHPs) workforce in cancer for many years, and which have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nursing and AHPs workforce make a critical contribution to caring for PABC and helping them to live well, with and beyond cancer, through:

The backlog of people requiring screening, diagnosis, treatment and care related to cancer, coupled with the shortfall of cancer educated and skilled nurses and AHPs, has amplified demands on an already depleted cancer workforce. Even before the pandemic, numerous calls had been made to address these shortages (NHS England, 2018; Health Education England, 2019; Macmillan Cancer Support, 2021a; 2021b). Since COVID-19, research by the European Society for Medical Oncology. (ESMO) Resilience Task Force collaboration identified significant concerns regarding potential attrition in the oncology workforce, concluding that national and international stakeholders must act immediately to draw up future-proof recovery plans (Lim et al, 2021).

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