A HOSPITAL just ten miles from Thurrock to stop providing chemotherapy because it has too few specialist cancer nurses to staff the unit.
The Cedar Centre at King George hospital in Ilford, east London, will cease provision from 12 November because four of its nurses have quit and two others have gone on maternity leave reports The Guardian.
It is thought to be the first time the NHS’s widespread staffing problems have led to a specialist cancer unit no longer being able to offer a vital service such as chemotherapy.
More than 500 patients a year received their cancer treatment there, and in future patients will have to go to Queen’s hospital in nearby Romford instead
Macmillan Cancer Support said the move was “hugely concerning” and a stark example of the “extreme workforce pressure” at NHS cancer services, which are facing rising demand while recruitment and retention of nurses gets harder.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University hospitals NHS trust, which runs both hospitals, said it had been planning to centralise chemotherapy services in Romford, and had accelerated the move when it found it could not replace the four nurses who are leaving. The departures will reduce the number of cancer nurses working across both hospital sites delivering chemotherapy from 19 to 15.
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