Health Minister, Simon Hamilton, has today announced an £11.5m expansion to the specialist cancer nursing (CNS) workforce, with a £2.1 million investment from Friends of the Cancer Centre.
The investment will create around 60 new specialist cancer nursing and support worker posts over the next five years. The additional posts will be funded by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), in partnership with two charities with Friends of the Cancer Centre pledging £2.1 million.
Minister Hamilton said;
“More cancer specialist nurses are needed in Northern Ireland, and this significant investment will create 60 new posts which is excellent news for local patients. The new Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and support workers will be spread across all five health trusts and will focus on different cancer types, according to current patient need.
“Clinical Nurse Specialists work at the front line of cancer care, providing patient support during and after treatment. They are the main point of contact for patients and their families, play a vital role in the coordination of care, and ensure that patients get the holistic support they need to meet their clinical, emotional and even financial needs. They are greatly valued by patients and this investment will benefit patients directly with more nurses on the ground.”
Colleen Shaw, chief executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre, said:
“Friends of the Cancer Centre is committed to ensuring that cancer patients in Northern Ireland have access to the best possible care and we see Clinical Nurse Specialists as a vital part in this. As a local charity we are delighted to invest £2.1 million into the future of specialist nursing which will benefit patients across Northern Ireland.
“Friends of the Cancer Centre has been committed to funding Clinical Nurse Specialist’s for six years and we “have seen first-hand the impact these vital nurses have on a patient’s experience . A CNS acts as the lynchpin between the various teams involved in a patient’s treatment, as well as acting as a central point of contact for the patient to turn to at any time, often for emotional support. The benefits of a CNS are priceless and to be able to enhance this offering is a significant step forward in local cancer care.”
Pictured above are Colleen Shaw, chief executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre with the Friends of the Cancer Centre’s CNS for lymphoma, Laura Croan and her patient, Ray McAreavey who has greatly benefitted from the vital support Laura provides during his treatment.