The urgent need to think strategically about how the cancer workforce is planned and managed long term, was recognised in the Cancer Strategy for England when it called for ‘the development of a vision for the future shape and skills mix of the workforce required to deliver a modern, holistic patient-centred cancer service’. This was then followed by a commitment to delivering the review in the Cancer Strategy implementation plan published by the NHS in May 2016.
In order to truly transform the cancer workforce so that it is fit for the future, national leadership and a strategic vision for the future cancer workforce is needed. Health Education England has a critical role to play in leading the development of this strategic vision for the cancer workforce.
Our report, ‘Thinking differently: Macmillan’s vision for the future cancer workforce in England’ uses examples of projects and programmes we have led or been involved in to illustrate the need to think differently about the workforce. It also makes recommendations at both a national and local level, recognising that both are vital to achieving lasting and sustainable change.