University of Edinburgh research: £6M boost to train doctors in cancer research

University of Edinburgh | May 2019 | £6M boost to train doctors in cancer research

Cancer Research UK has awarded more than £6 million to its research centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow to train early-career doctors to conduct medical research, known as clinician scientists.

Clinical Academic Training Programme will introduce new measures, including more flexible training options and improved mentorship and networking opportunities, It will better support women clinicians who want to get involved and stay in cancer research.

laboratory-2815632_640

In particular, the programme will offer a new type of qualification – known as an MB-PhD – which allows doctors to study for a PhD earlier in their medical training.

Traditionally, becoming a clinician scientist involves doctors taking time out of training to undertake a PhD before returning to complete their medical specialism.

Many doctors – particularly women – do not return to research after qualifying as consultants. As a result, the number of clinician scientists in Scotland is in decline, particularly in senior posts.

Now the joint Clinical Academic Training Programme will introduce new measures, including more flexible training options and improved mentorship and networking opportunities, It will better support women clinicians who want to get involved and stay in cancer research.

In particular, the programme will offer a new type of qualification – known as an MB-PhD – which allows doctors to study for a PhD earlier in their medical training (Source: University of Edinburgh).

News story £6M boost to train doctors in cancer research 

NHSX: digital experts will be part of cancer and mental health teams

Department of Health and Social Care | April 2019 | NHSX: digital experts will be part of cancer and mental health teams

A news story from the Department of Health and Social Care outlines how digital and data specialists will help patients, clinicians and carers benefit from better technology. 

artificial-intelligence-3382507_640.jpg

Digital and data specialists from NHSX will team up with NHS England’s cancer and mental health national policy teams to help clinicians and policymakers improve patient experience through technology.

The digital experts will support teams in:

  • making it easier for patients to access services through smartphones
  • giving clinicians access to the relevant diagnostic information about a patient
  • making it easier to collect and use health data which can benefit research and patients

If this is successful it will be rolled out more widely across the NHS.

Read the full news story from the Department of Health and Social Care

Clinical oncology workforce census

Royal College of Radiologists workforce report highlights continuing struggle to staff UK cancer centres

This report from the Royal College of Radiologists provides information on the number, distribution and working patterns of consultant-grade oncologists employed in NHS cancer centres. It also forecasts workforce numbers and working patterns and estimates the extent to which future workforce supply and demand for cancer treatments are aligned. The report is intended to inform local and national oncology workforce training, planning and policy.

Based on data from every UK cancer hospital, the report reveals:

workforce
Image source: http://www.rcr.ac.uk
  • One-in-six UK cancer centres now operates with fewer clinical oncology consultants than five years ago
  • Vacancies for clinical oncology posts are now double what they were in 2013 – with more than half of vacant posts empty for a year or more
  • The UK’s clinical oncology workforce is currently 18 per cent understaffed – without investment the shortfall is predicted to grow to at least 22 per cent by 2023
  • To close the gap between supply and demand for cancer doctors, oncology trainee numbers need to at least double. Even with that investment, the gap would not be closed until 2029.

Full report: Clinical Oncology UK Workforce Census Report 2018

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”.

clin onco rcr.ac.uk
Image source: rcr.ac.uk

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

Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes

Cancer Research UK|November 2018 |Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes: the future demand for cancer workforce in England

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has published Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes: the future demand for cancer workforce in England, this document comes in response 

CRUK
Image source: cancerresearchuk.org

To successfully anticipate workforce needs in cancer, it is essential to consider both how
many patients are expected to be diagnosed and treated in the future, and the likely areas in which cancer services will change. As such CRUK wanted to explore the future demand for staff in more depth, to demonstrate how this approach could be taken in a long-term plan for the workforce. CRUK  wanted this to highlight the scale of increase required to meet the future needs of cancer patients, as well as consider what impact potential changes in services could have on staffing requirements in the NHS. CRUK commissioned 2020 Delivery to develop the model that we used to generate these estimates (Source: CRUK). 

The document argues that:

  • A demand-led approach is needed;
  • staff numbers may need to double to meet demand;
  • changes in the NHS will need even more staff;
  • a long term plan for the workforce (is needed)

Read the full publication at CRUK

‘Workforce crisis’ in Cancer Services

Clinical oncology UK workforce census 2017 report| The Royal College of Radiologists

The clinical oncology UK workforce census report provides a unique profile of the clinical oncology workforce in the UK. This years’ figures highlight the ongoing workforce shortages putting consultants and department under intense pressure. The key findings show that:

  • Demand for cancer services continues to outstrip the workforce supply
  • Increased pressure on services mean that time allocated to supporting professional activities is being erroded, potentially impacting on the quality of services
  • Training numbers are insufficient to replenish the current shortages in the workforce
  • Experienced oncologists are being lost from the workforce through retirements.

Full report: Clinical oncology UK workforce census 2017 report

oncology
Image source: http://www.rcr.ac.uk