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Boost to Northern Ireland specialist cancer nursing workforce

Northern Ireland's health minister Simon Hamilton has announced £11.5 million cancer funding to create 60 new posts over next five years

About 60 specialist cancer nursing posts will be created in Northern Ireland over the next five years, health minister Simon Hamilton has announced.

The 11.5 million cancer workforce project is being funded through 2.4 million from the Health and Social Care Board, 7 million from Macmillan Cancer Support (MCS) and 2.1 million from the Belfast City Hospital charity Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Mr Hamilton said: More cancer specialist nurses are needed in Northern Ireland and this significant investment will create around 60 new posts, which is excellent news for local patients. The new clinical nurse specialists and support workers will be spread across all five health trusts and will focus on different cancer types, according to current patient need.

He added: Clinical nurse specialists work at the front line of cancer care, providing patients with support during and after treatment. They are the main point of

About 60 specialist cancer nursing posts will be created in Northern Ireland over the next five years, health minister Simon Hamilton has announced.

The £11.5 million cancer workforce project is being funded through £2.4 million from the Health and Social Care Board, £7 million from Macmillan Cancer Support (MCS) and £2.1 million from the Belfast City Hospital charity Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Mr Hamilton said: ‘More cancer specialist nurses are needed in Northern Ireland and this significant investment will create around 60 new posts, which is excellent news for local patients. The new clinical nurse specialists and support workers will be spread across all five health trusts and will focus on different cancer types, according to current patient need.’

He added: ‘Clinical nurse specialists work at the front line of cancer care, providing patients with support during and after treatment. They are the main point of contact for patients and their families, play a vital role in the coordination of care, and ensure that patients receive the holistic support they need to meet their clinical and emotional needs. They are greatly valued by patients and this investment will benefit patients directly with more nurses on the ground.’

The move follows findings from the 2015 Northern Ireland Cancer Patient Experience survey and a 2014 MCS report, which show that the number of specialist adult cancer nurses has not been expanding sufficiently to keep pace with the growing numbers of people diagnosed with cancer.

MCS Northern Ireland head Heather Monteverde said: ‘Macmillan first established clinical nurse specialists in the 1970s and we have been campaigning for the past ten years to increase their numbers here. The money will ensure that newly diagnosed patients are supported by clinical nurse specialists, wherever they live, whatever type of cancer they have, and whichever hospital they attend for treatment.’

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