Needs of cancer survivors are ignored by NHS say nurses
Four out of five nurses say the needs of people living with or after cancer in the UK are not being met by the NHS, according to a new survey by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Nursing Times.
Nurses report that following initial treatment, 92% of patients experience physical problems and 96% experience emotional problems but they say these needs are not properly addressed.
A lack of services available to help people adjust to the consequences of cancer and its treatment, insufficient advice about returning to work and how to cope financially make it difficult for patients to get their lives back on track after treatment, according to the nurses.
“It is shocking that so many nurses believe the NHS is failing cancer survivors. Two million people are currently living with a cancer diagnosis and yet our survey shows not all nurses have access to training or can find the services to help these people, many of whom are in desperate need,” said Jessica Corner, Chief Clinician at Macmillan Cancer Support.
Only two out of three of the nurses who received training to help care for people with a cancer diagnosis said it had given them adequate understanding and knowledge of the needs of cancer survivors.
People living with and beyond cancer often have difficulty getting their lives back when hospital treatment ends. They may experience emotional problems, side effects such as severe fatigue or lymphoedema, or find it hard to get back to work, pay the bills or start a family.