8 September 2021

Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencing at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“These revelations paint a really frightening picture of the devastating impact the cancer nurse crisis is having on cancer patients in the UK right now, depriving many of the support they need, and it’s deeply concerning that in the most serious cases it could potentially impact their chances of survival.

“Nurses are the crucial ‘touchpoint’ for all cancer patients, helping them to access the treatment, care and support they need - particularly for people with incurable secondary breast cancer who are on lifelong treatment and often have very complex emotional support and care needs.

“The crippling effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the cancer workforce is not new news, and has exacerbated existing shortfalls in staffing; yet despite the fact that a fully resourced workforce is the critical backbone for improving patients’ lives, reducing pressure on our already overstretched workforce, and for bringing about financial savings for the NHS, we’re yet to see government make this happen. The upcoming Spending Review is the government’s opportunity to put this right – this must happen so that all cancer patients are given not only the best possible care but ultimately the best chances of survival.

“Anyone can speak to our expert nurses for support and information by calling our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.”