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Our six key strategies for cancer nursing care

RCN cancer and breast care forum outlines its core aims for the future

RCN cancer and breast care forum outlines its core aims for nurses and patients during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

Every year, the RCN cancer and breast care forum holds a strategy day where we come together as a committee to agree on our focus for the subsequent year.

This year’s, held in March, was no different, except it was online. It was great to meet up and see each other after 12 difficult months, but we missed the downtime interaction over lunch or coffee to get to know colleagues – some for the first time and others whom we haven’t seen since congress.

RCN cancer and breast care forum outlines its core aims for nurses and patients during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

RCN cancer and breast care forum outlines its core aims for nurses and patients during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic
Picture: iStock

Every year, the RCN cancer and breast care forum holds a strategy day where we come together as a committee to agree on our focus for the subsequent year.

This year’s, held in March, was no different, except it was online. It was great to meet up and see each other after 12 difficult months, but we missed the downtime interaction over lunch or coffee to get to know colleagues – some for the first time and others whom we haven’t seen since congress.

‘NHS England has given its commitment to prioritising cancer services, where possible, so that treatment is not unnecessarily delayed during the pandemic’

As we emerge from these times of restriction, it will be important to consider not just what business we focus on in the future, but how we do it and why.

RCN cancer and breast care forum’s six key strategies

We reviewed our strategy and agreed to focus on six core aims. These are:

  1. Develop the specialist and general cancer nursing workforce to effectively provide patient-centred care to people with cancer.
  2. Provide international, national and local leadership, advocacy and influence on cancer nursing-related issues across a range of strategic levels.
  3. Promote the career and education framework for cancer nursing to ensure its integration into workforce plans across the UK.
  4. Work collaboratively with a range of nursing, charitable and government bodies to promote change and protect aspects of nursing care under threat.
  5. Engage with other forums to share cancer-related communication relevant to all nurses.
  6. Maximise opportunities to listen and extend our reach with members through social media.

Updated education and careers framework will be shared widely

With our core aims established, we discussed the key actions required to deliver on them. These include continuing to develop our social media presence with the aim of building our platforms so they are a go-to place online to inform, discuss and collaborate on cancer nursing issues.

This July, we plan to disseminate our updated education and careers framework, and will be sharing it to support you and your colleagues.

By updating the framework we hope to align it more to that of the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) and the proposed RCN/Health Education England career pathway for nursing, as well as achieve better outcomes for the nursing associate role.

We recognise that an international presence is important as a platform for influencing oncology care. So we will continue being an active member of EONS and playing our part in London Global Cancer Week, as well as continuing our presence on bodies, such as the Cancer Recovery Taskforce and the Specialised Cancer Surgery clinical reference group.

Committed to congress as a vehicle for change and development

Congress remains the cornerstone of our work sitting at the heart of all that we do – a time to listen, to speak and to network. We remain committed to this as the vehicle for change and development that it always has been.

The thread that will run through all of these areas of focus will be COVID-19 and its effects on our patients and workforce. We are fortunate that NHS England has given its commitment to prioritising cancer services, where possible, so that treatment is not unnecessarily delayed during the pandemic.

But our patients have been through a harrowing time and people will continue to present in the later stages of the disease. These are not easy times, but together we can stand strong and resilient to help us pull through – and pull through we will.

View our COVID-19 resource centre

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