News story

More cancer specialists to be employed by the NHS

New specialists will speed up cancer diagnoses and improve access to treatment.

Cancer care image

The NHS is to employ more cancer specialists, to speed up cancer diagnoses and get more people into treatment more quickly. The specialists will be trained in areas where there are shortages. It is part of Health Education England’s new Cancer Workforce Plan.

Announcements of extra provision include:

  • 200 clinical endoscopists – to investigate suspected cancers internally
  • 300 reporting radiographers – to identify cancers using x-rays and ultrasound
  • support for clinical nurse specialists – to lead services and provide quality care

The plan is part of a campaign to make sure patients are diagnosed quickly and get better access to innovative treatments that can improve survival rates.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

The NHS has made amazing progress in diagnosing and treating cancer – it’s incredible that 7,000 people are alive today who would not have been had mortality rates stayed the same as in 2010.

We want to save more lives and to do that we need more specialists who can investigate and diagnose cancer quickly. These extra specialists will go a long way to help the NHS save an extra 30,000 lives by 2020.

Published 5 December 2017