10 June 2022

In response to today’s Royal College of Radiologists’ clinical radiology and clinical oncology censuses, Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Today’s findings reflect the sheer scale of workforce shortages right across the country, which is jeopardising our ability to diagnose and treat breast cancer as quickly as possible.

 “The cancer workforce has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to recover breast cancer services, but the stark reality is that breast cancer services were already overstretched and understaffed long before the pandemic.

 “The situation is set to get much worse, with 45% of breast cancer clinical oncologists due to retire in England within the next 10 years – playing a pivotal role in delivering core cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, they are one of the most highly demanded specialists.

 “It’s abundantly clear that without urgent government action, workforce shortages and pressures threaten to detrimentally affect early diagnosis which is crucial to increasing breast cancer patients’ chances of survival, and timely treatment and care.

 “The Government’s upcoming 10-Year Cancer Plan for England must address the scale of this continually unfolding crisis with a fully funded, long-term NHS workforce plan that will grow, support, and retain the oncology and radiology workforce."

ENDS