Clinical oncology UK workforce census 2018 report

Royal College of Radiologists | March 2019 | Clinical oncology UK workforce census 2018 report

The Royal College of Radiologists have published their workforce census for clinical oncology.  Clinical oncology UK workforce census is conducted on annual basis, it has three foci:

  1. Provide comprehensive, accurate and timely information on the number, distribution and working patterns of consultant-grade clinical oncologists employed in UK NHS cancer centres.
  2. Forecast future workforce numbers and working patterns
  3. Estimate the extent to which future workforce supply and demand for cancer treatments are aligned

According to this report: “cancer services will only improve with concrete action to boost staff numbers and equipment across diagnostics and treatment”.

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The key recommendations are structured around the report’s findings:

  1. Workforce shortages have increased and are forecast to increase further
  2. Clinical oncology trainee numbers need to double to close the growing gap between supply and demand
  3. Consultant clinical oncologists are showing signs of stress and burnout, with early retirement resulting in the loss of valuable expertise.
  4. Consultants have less time supporting professional activities (SPAs),  which are vital for quality improvement
  5. Workforce gaps are variable across geographies and roles, with some areas, such as Wales, being particularly adversely affected.

The full report is available from The Royal College of Radiologists 

See also:

Clinical oncology UK workforce census 2018 report

Infographic of key findings

In the news:

BBC News Cancer doctor shortage ‘puts care at risk’

Daily Mail Severe shortage of NHS cancer specialists is threatening patient care, warns report

The Independent Cancer patients may suffer because of NHS consultant shortage, report warns

Stop smoking services declining across England

Cuts to government funding have led to Stop Smoking Services declining across England, a new report has revealed | Cancer Research UK 

The report by Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed that 44% of councils no longer provide a full, specialist service to all smokers looking to quit. Just over half of local authorities in England are still offering a specialist service that provides the best support to all smokers looking to quit the habit.


The report links the continued decline in specialist services to Government cuts, which have seen funding for local Stop Smoking Services decline by £41.3 million since 2014/2015 – a drop of 30% in under 4 years.

Of the councils that don’t offer a full specialist service to all smokers, there are varying levels of support on offer. Around 1 in 10 (9%) authorities have restricted specialist support to groups such as pregnant women and people with mental health conditions, where smoking rates have plateaued in recent years.

But 100,000 smokers in England no longer have access to any council-funded support to quit, with 3% of local authorities not offering stop smoking services at all. Local councils that have kept specialist services have higher rates of quitting than those with no specialist Stop Smoking Services.

The report makes several recommendations to help tackle the rising issue of stop smoking service cuts, including the reversal of government cuts and ensuring services are evidence-based.

Full report: Action on Smoking and Health & Cancer Research UK |  A Changing Landscape: Stop smoking services and tobacco control in England

Related Cancer Research UK press release: Stop Smoking Services stubbed out across England

NHS England publishes Combined Performance Summary

NHS England has published its Combined Performance Summary, which provides data on key performance measures for January and February of this year. Here Jessica Morris of the Nuffield Trust shows some of these statistics and how they compare with previous years.

Commenting on the latest Combined Performance Summary, Prof John Appleby says the A&E slump and spike in cancer waits are of real concern and a reminder of the pressure that NHS staff face: A&E slump and spike in cancer waits mean stormy waters for new NHS targets

Full analysis: Combined Performance Summary: January – February 2019 | Nuffield Trust

The NHS England resource contains a summary of the performance statistics on:

Urgent and emergency care

Planned care


Mental Health

Full detail: Combined Performance Summary | NHS England

Cervical Cancer statistics

Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that in 2015 there were around 2,500 new cases, and nearly 700 deaths attributable to cervical cancer, in England. The overall age standardised incidence rate has been declining since the 1990s, however incidence is increasing in younger women.

Cervical cancer is 99.8% preventable through the cervical screening and the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programmes. A cervical screen collects cells from the cervix to be tested for abnormalities. In 2019, primary HPV testing will also be introduced as part of the screening process.


Most cases of cervical cancer are linked to HPV and the vaccine, currently offered by the NHS for free to girls aged 12 and 13 in UK schools, protects against the most of the virus strains responsible. The national HPV vaccination programme has successfully reduced infections of HPV type 16/18 in 16-21 year old women by 80%.

Full detail at Cancer Research UK