Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy and availability of chemotherapy nurses; and if he will make a statement.
Specialist clinical nursing workforce working in chemotherapy and palliative care are post-registration qualifications. It is the responsibility of individual employers to ensure that they have the staff available to provide clinical services. NHS England and NHS Improvement are developing a programme in 2022 to assess the palliative workforce, training, and support requirements of health care systems in England.
The Spending Review in 2020 provided £260 million to continue to support commitments made in the NHS Long Term Plan, of which £52 million was provided to Health Education England (HEE) to invest in the cancer and diagnostics workforce. In 2021/22 HEE has provided 105 training grants to National Health Service trusts in England for existing and aspiring chemotherapy nurses to enable them to undertake further training and education.
Over the next three years, £36 billion will be invested in the health and care system to ensure it has the appropriate long term resources. Allocations and profiles will be confirmed as part of the up-coming Spending Review, which will set out the Government’s spending plans including investment in the NHS workforce.