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Specialist nurses play a vital role; emails & letters.

I WAS extremely concerned to read that, as with the last recession when there were a number of reports of clinical nurse specialists being returned to ward duties, again the role of the clinical nurse specialist is being eroded to cut costs ("Nurses' shifts changed to cut costs", Daily Post, September 27).

I hope the short-sighted mistakes of that period are not repeated in the current times of economic austerity.

Clinical nurse specialists play a vital role in caring for and supporting patients and their carers throughout their cancer journey. They provide information, advice and support, and we constantly hear feedback from patients and their families of what a difference access to specialist nurses makes to their experience of having cancer. There is already a shortfall in access to specialist nurses, and this is particularly acute for lung cancer. The caseload of lung cancer nurses can be as much as double that of other forms of cancer. As a result of this, not all lung cancer patients get access to a specialist nurse, despite having complex needs.

To read that these, already much in demand, nurses will be stretched even further by being told to work general ward shifts is extremely worrying.

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation urges all NHS Trusts and the Department of Health to give lung cancer patients a fair deal by protecting the role of these specialist nurses, who make such a difference to the 39,750 people diagnosed with lung cancer every year. Dr Rosemary Gillespie, Chief Executive, The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 29, 2010
Words:260
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