To mark national Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Day (Wednesday, 26 April), NHS Kent and Medway are shining a light on the role.

There are more than 74,000 people in Kent and Medway living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis and more than 200 CNS working in our NHS trusts supporting people through diagnosis and treatment.

NHS Kent and Medway Chair Cedi Frederick said: “CNS provide a unique service. They are the clinical but also human interface between the service we offer patients and their families.

”CNS help provide people with personalised, person-centred, care. They support patients across all stages of treatment, providing them with information about their type of cancer, treatment options and possible side effects.”

NHS Kent and Medway Chief Nurse Dame Eileen Sills said: “As an individual who has cancer, it is the CNS that got me through some dark times.

“They are the ones that I keep connected with, as I go on with my long-term journey with the cancer that I have.

”CNS use their expertise to assess, diagnose and treat patients but their role often extends to other areas such as research.

NHS Kent and Medway Primary Care Cancer Lead Dr Jonathan Bryant said: “From personal experience with cancer, I feel the CNS have done a fantastic job in guiding people on their cancer journey, offering support and help when they need it most. I think they are a fantastic bunch of people and I’m really grateful to have them on board.

”CNS also help to:

  • reduce emergency admissions and the length of time spent in hospital
  • reduce the number of follow-up appointments and medical consultations
  • enable people to be cared for and to die in their place of choice.

NHS Kent and Medway Chief Medical Officer Dr Kate Langford said: “CNS work with the cancer treatment teams, supporting patients throughout their journey.

“For cancer patients that can be quite a complex journey but the cancer nurse specialist is the person they can always turn to to ask those questions about what happens next. What should I expect?”

Read a blog from Chief Nursing Officer at Macmillan Claire Taylor, reflecting on the important role of cancer CNS.

CancerData statistics show that more than 74,000 Kent and Medway residents are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis.The number of people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis at a national level (in England) is expected to double by 2030 (based on a MacMillan report).

By Ed

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