16 January 2013
Macmillan Cancer Support back Frontline First
30 07 2010 | MacMillan Cancer Support
Macmillan is delighted to be able to take up the opportunity to write a blog to support the RCN Campaign and to enforce our joint message about the importance of keeping specialist nurses on the frontline.
Macmillan Cancer Support understands that the NHS is under massive pressure to reduce costs and that managers will always review staffing arrangements. But this mustn’t result in diverting specialist nurses away from providing direct one to one support to people affected by cancer. If the NHS is to meet the quality and productivity challenge, one thing it can’t afford to do is cut specialist support.
Macmillan currently supports 3,343 specialist nurses and in 2009 alone invested £7.7 million on nursing posts. At any one time, some of these will be at risk from inappropriate decisions about their management. Any changes the NHS proposes to Macmillan posts must be negotiated with the charity, and we are constantly monitoring this risk and negotiating locally to resolve problems.
Short-term approaches may save money immediately, but they’ll diminish quality and cost more over time. Specialist nurses save money. Their role as key worker to individual patients means that they can quickly identify emerging issues that might require medical attention, enabling care to be planned and emergency admissions averted. Specialist nurses also support enhanced recovery after surgery – equipping patients to manage their recovery at home and reducing the need for lengthy hospital stays.
An economic modelling analysis by Macmillan Cancer Support in Manchester in 2009 looked at the role of the specialist nurse. It suggested that service improvements along the cancer pathway, for example better coordination of support, could save in the region of 10% of the cost of their care. More money could be released annually to the wider economy through saved benefit payments and increases in tax contributions, if more patients were effectively supported back to work.