Responding to the first ever Long Term Workforce Plan

Our Director of Research, Support and Influencing comments on the first ever Long Term Workforce Plan published by the NHS

30 June 2023

Responding to the first ever Long Term Workforce Plan published today by the NHS and backed by the Government, Anna Jewell, Director of Support, Research and Influencing at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said:

“We welcome today’s publication of the Long Term NHS Workforce Plan. The NHS is at breaking point, with record levels of staff vacancies, so a clear plan for how we can finally address these problems is vital to ensuring that people with pancreatic cancer and their loved ones get the support and care they desperately need.

“Right now, 8 in 10 people are diagnosed at a late stage – where they are already incredibly unwell, and delays to treatment and care can have tragic consequences. So it’s vital that people are diagnosed earlier and faster, quickly receive a treatment plan, and immediately get wrap-around physical and emotional support – from their first symptoms, through to any treatment, and beyond. Waiting for treatment and care to begin due to an overstretched workforce not only slashes people’s survival chances, but also compounds an already incredibly stressful situation.

“Today’s plan provides a welcome focus on both early diagnosis and holistic support. It provides funding to create more diagnostic staff; aims to ensure all patients get access to specialist cancer nurses; focuses on recruitment and retention of cancer support workers; and looks ahead to upskilling the workforce of the future in groundbreaking   treatments, such as genomic testing. We also welcome its commitment to undertake a modelling approach to better understand workforce needs over the next fifteen years as this will give us insights on improvements needed.

“Now we need this plan implemented urgently, and in full, with sufficient funding to ensure the NHS workforce can finally do their jobs as they would like. We need to provide them with the resources and support to do the best they can for pancreatic cancer patients. The government cannot afford to delay any longer – they must act to see this plan become reality, or continue to risk the lives of cancer patients, now and for generations to come.”

"Right now, 8 in 10 people are diagnosed at a late stage – where they are already incredibly unwell, and delays to treatment and care can have tragic consequences."

Anna Jewell
Anna Jewell, Director of Support, Research and Influencing