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Prostate cancer specialist nursing workforce under threat as incidence rates set to soar

 

The prostate cancer specialist nursing workforce is facing a bleak and uncertain future if urgent action is not taken, according to new research commissioned by Prostate Cancer UK and undertaken with support from the British Association of Urological Nurses (BAUN).

In a survey of just under 300 specialist nurses working with men affected by prostate cancer, conducted for Prostate Cancer UK by Plymouth University, London South Bank University and Mouchel, almost half (49%) reported that they were approaching retirement or intending to leave nursing within the next ten years.  But with no clear plans for training a new workforce and prostate cancer predicted to become the most common cancer overall by 2030, patients face a future without the experience and expertise these nurses offer.

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK said:  “We know that men with prostate cancer who have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist report better experiences of care.

“They often tell us that the support they receive from specialist nurses is crucial in helping them to overcome a wide range of issues including life changing side effects. The support these nurses provide is undeniably vital but our report shows a stark future where this treasure house of experience and expertise is lost and not replenished.”