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How can we reward cancer nurses for the service they give?

As 2019 begins, trusts should look at ways to keep cancer nurses on board

As 2019 begins, trusts should look at ways to keep cancer nurses on board

Happy New Year. I hope 2019 is everything you want it to be. I am not planning to make any resolutions I can’t keep. I have certainly made plenty of those over the years.


Picture: Alamy

However, I will continue to raise issues of importance to nursing, particularly those working in the field of cancer care. I spent a day with some experienced chemotherapy nurses the other week. It is such a broad term – chemotherapy nurse. It doesn’t fully reflect the knowledge, skills and expertise required to work in one of the many day treatment centres across the UK.

'If there are not enough nurses able to give chemotherapy, units close'

Their passion to give patients the best possible service is no surprise. The surprise is that there is no extra funding available to make up for the hard work nurses do in these roles. Sometimes discussions about pay do not go hand in hand with the work of the cancer nurse. 

Staffing review

Hospital trusts will need to review how they can attract nurses to specialist cancer areas, especially when many will no longer receive out of hours' payments.

As we have seen recently, if there are not enough nurses able to give chemotherapy, units close. We can’t expect nurses to take on all the additional training, involving extra study, and go unrewarded. I intend to continue to raise this where I can.

Get in touch with your thoughts. 


About the author

Susanne Cruickshank is chair of the RCN cancer and breast care forum 

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