News

Lung cancer nurses voice concerns over workload and insufficient staffing

  Lung cancer nurses say they are being asked to take on too many new patients and their numbers are too small to cope
Picture shows computer illustration and light micrograph of small cell lung cancer. A survey shows lung cancer nurses feel they are being asked to take on too many new patients and feel the number of nurses in the speciality is too small to cope

Lung cancer nurses say they are being asked to take on too many new patients and their numbers are too small to cope

Lung cancer nurses are worried there are not enough of them to care for their patients, a survey shows.

The charity Lung Cancer Nursing UK (LCNUK) surveyed 300 lung cancer nurses, with 77 responding. Of those, 36 said they are caring for more than 200 lung cancer patients.

One of the charitys trustees, Alison Leary, said access to lung cancer nurses for patients is critical, adding: Research also shows that access to a lung cancer clinical nurse specialist means patients have better outcomes including better

Lung cancer nurses say they are being asked to take on too many new patients and their numbers are too small to cope

Picture shows computer illustration and light micrograph of small cell lung cancer. A survey shows lung cancer nurses feel they are being asked to take on too many new patients and feel the number of nurses in the speciality is too small to cope
Computer illustration and light micrograph of small cell lung cancer
Picture: Science Photo Library

Lung cancer nurses are worried there are not enough of them to care for their patients, a survey shows.

The charity Lung Cancer Nursing UK (LCNUK) surveyed 300 lung cancer nurses, with 77 responding. Of those, 36 said they are caring for more than 200 lung cancer patients.

One of the charity’s trustees, Alison Leary, said access to lung cancer nurses for patients is critical, adding: ‘Research also shows that access to a lung cancer clinical nurse specialist means patients have better outcomes including better access to treatment.'

The majority of LCNUK survey respondents (59 out of 77) said there are insufficient numbers in the specialty to meet national guidelines stating there should be at least one lung cancer nurse specialist for every 80 new patients per year.

Pressure on the workforce is also increasing, with 51 survey respondents reporting a 20% increase in their caseload over the past four years.

Findings raise concerns about recruitment and retention of lung cancer nurses

The survey is part of a report by LCNUK highlighting the challenges lung cancer nurses face in their roles, including lack of resources and time, as well as not having a protected title.

The charity said the findings raise concerns about recruitment and retention of such specialist nurses. The findings also reveal about one in three lung cancer nurses do not have access to appropriate resources or enough time to provide care for patients.

A total of 51 respondents said they did not believe their hospital was looking to protect or expand the role of lung cancer nurses and 67 said they would like their role to be a protected professional title.

LCNUK chair Jackie Fenemore said the charity wants the NHS People Plan to address these issues. ‘This includes the recognition of our role and ensuring manageable workloads both now and in the future,’ she said.

According to Cancer Research UK, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, with 47,000 new cases every year.

NHS England was contacted for comment.


Related articles


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to cancernursingpractice.com
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs