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National cancer clinical nurse specialist day logo

Patients, health professionals and charities across West Yorkshire and Harrogate are coming together in a national celebration of the invaluable role of specialist cancer nurses and to encourage more people to come forward and join the profession.

Tuesday March 15 marks National Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Day, with a campaign to raise awareness of the CNS role, share examples of the positive difference they are making to people affected by cancer and the exciting opportunities for employment, training and development.

The campaign is endorsed by Health Education England; cancer charity Macmillan; the Royal College of Nursing and the UK Oncology Nursing Society.

The six acute hospital Trusts across West Yorkshire and Harrogate are also supporting the campaign, which is being co-ordinated across the area by the WYH Cancer Alliance.

Macmillan describes cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists as professionals who ‘treat and manage the health concerns of patients and work to promote health and wellbeing in the patients they care for. CNSs in cancer care practice automonously and integrate knowledge of cancer and medical treatments into assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients’ problems and concerns’.

 Research, including the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, has shown that having access to a named Clinical Nurse Specialist is associated with better patient experience at different points of the cancer care patient pathway. This includes involvement in treatment decisions, care co-ordination and treatment with respect and dignity (1).

The focus of the local #NationalCancerCNSDay social media campaign will be on real people achieving extraordinary things in their role as Cancer Nurse Specialists, working and training in hospitals and services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

It will highlight the reasons for their career choice, their professional journey so far and their passion for improving cancer care, along with the views of other health professionals whose roles are enhanced by CNS colleagues.

The spotlight will also be shared by people affected by cancer, their family and friends, sharing their personal experiences of how a Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist has transformed their experience of care.

Rachel Moser, Workforce Lead with WYH Cancer Alliance, urged as many as people as possible to get behind the campaign and share the fantastic work of CNSs, also to promote the role as an exciting and fulfilling career option.

“We’re encouraging our nursing colleagues, and those considering a career in nursing, to explore the prospect of becoming a Cancer CNS – often referred to as a lifeline for our patients and their families.  As the demand for cancer services continues to increase, so our workforce needs them more than ever before. This campaign provides a great opportunity for people to learn more about the opportunities on offer, and how cancer CNSs are already supporting patients across our area.”

The #NationalCancerCNSDay will run across all WYH Cancer Alliance social media channels:

Facebook – @WYHCancerAlliance

Twitter – @WYHCancAlliance

Instagram – @canceralliancewyh

Linked In – West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance