Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospital suspends chemotherapy because of nurse shortage

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 08 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4687
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

The decision by a NHS trust to stop providing chemotherapy at one of its hospitals because it has too few specialist cancer nurses to staff the unit has reignited the debate about nursing shortages.

The Cedar Centre at King George Hospital in Ilford, east London, said that from 12 November it would not be able to offer chemotherapy, after four nurses left and two others took maternity leave.

The Royal College of Nursing and the charity Macmillan Cancer Support described the decision as “hugely concerning.”

A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust told The BMJ that plans to centralise chemotherapy services at Queen’s Hospital in nearby Romford were already under way when the staff shortages arose. He acknowledged that the trust had been forced to hasten the move when it found …

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