This page is about the work we are doing in the East of England to develop and implement a cancer/cancer-diagnostic workforce strategy in partnership with the local Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).

The NHS People Plan, The Long-Term Plan for Cancer and the Richards Review provide the strategic context for cancer and cancer diagnostic workforce redesign.

The National Cancer Workforce Plan  published in 2018 sets out a delivery plan to enable the NHS to have the right number of skilled staff in the right areas to provide high quality care and services to cancer patients at each stage in their care pathway. Progress with the Cancer Workforce Plan can be found here

Image 4 - word cloud.pngImage 3 - word cloud.png

Current national cancer workforce priorities include:


  • Maximising access to training, 
  • Developing cancer nursing, exploring the role of volunteers in cancer care, addressing the oncology skill mix
  • Introducing cancer support worker roles
  • And learning from COVID regarding how to better support staff
This work links into the new ACCEND programme (Aspirant Cancer Career and Education Development Programme)

Shared strategy/implementation framework:

We have developed a regional cancer/cancer diagnostics workforce strategy and implementation plan to provide a framework for your planning. We also have a template system heatmap and plan on a page for you to use. We have collated the current system cancer workforce priorities via “System Cancer Workforce Heatmaps” to identify the local priority areas to start with. 

The emerging heatmap priorities include deficits, supply and succession concerns in: cancer nursing, diagnostic radiographers and radiologists (in particular in imaging, oncologists, therapeutic radiographers, medical physics and administrative staff that support the multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) and patient tracking lists (PTLs).

Clinical nurse specialist role:

The Cancer Alliance identified that cancer nursing, in particular the clinical nurse specialist role was a priority area and so there has been a further project to develop a toolkit to support hospitals and systems to redesign their cancer nursing workforce. Information about the clinical nurse specialist role and the tools available can be accessed here.

Regional stakeholder group:
We have a regional stakeholder group for cancer workforce which has representatives from your systems – if you would like to join these group please let us know by emailing:

Regional support offers:

We are developing regional support which includes:

  • An approach to co-production for people with a lived experience of cancer
  • Raising Awareness of Inequalities in Cancer Care training – you can express an interest and enrol in this training here.
  • Workforce planning for professional groups working in cancer/cancer diagnostics
  • Therapeutic radiography workforce redesign proposal (in partnership with the ODN for radiotherapy)
  • Cancer nursing workforce proposal (in partnership with the regional cancer lead nurse group)
  • An Inclusive Cancer/Diagnostic Careers Communications Toolkit
  • Multi professional coaching support

Some of these support offers are still in development – we have provided links to this work on our NHS Futures page

Funding for training and education:

Funding is available to support development of the cancer and cancer diagnostics workforce in the East of England. Funding is provided to the EOE Cancer Alliance as part of the national Cancer Investment Plan. It is expected that the Cancer Alliance will implement their plans in partnership with the local ICS workforce teams. This work links to implementation of the People Plan in local ICSs. If you are interested in undertaking any funded training, please discuss this with your line manager in the first instance. They will assess the need based on your request, service need, job plan, support required, etc and will contact your organisation’s cancer workforce lead for further information.

Downloads for people without access to NHS Futures:


Implementation framework

Inequalities training flyer

ACCEND competency framework and user guides