Growing and Developing the Workforce

Growing the workforce to keep pace with the growing demand for cancer services is essential to addressing the cancer workforce crisis, however, ensuring the current workforce has opportunities for personal development is equally as important if we want people to stay.

Prioritised Activity

To support the continued growth and development and achieve the one workforce ambition, the following activity will be prioritised:

Work with other professional groups to support promotional campaigns to raise the profile of careers in cancer

Make links with GM Access and Step ahead programmes to promote future careers in cancer

Link in with education providers (Higher Education Institutes, Colleges, and Schools) to:

  • Raise the profile of a career in cancer
  • Building on the digital clinical placement expansion programme, establish cancer placement pathways for student nurses and AHPs, as part of the Targeted Practice Education Programme
  • Influence curriculum development.

Explore the use of the digital placement model and digital staff passport to expand post registration placement opportunities across GM

Pilot pathways for cancer volunteers / carers interested in a career in cancer, supported by a training package

Optimise use of the apprenticeship levy to support routes into the cancer workforce

Promote using the ACCEND framework to support the development of generalists who have an interest in a career in cancer

Explore pathways for staff groups to transition into new roles within screening supported by clearly defined training routes

Evaluate and expand the Aspiring CNS programme to attract general nurses into a career in cancer and link outcomes to the ACCEND programme

Explore the development of additional ‘Aspiring’ Cancer Clinical pathways.

Promote using the ACCEND framework to inform / standardise job descriptions for the non-medical workforce

Promote and coordinate the ACCEND training programmes to upskill aspiring cancer support workers / nurses / AHPs to support future recruitment

Promote inclusive recruitment through the workforce EDI programme

Promote ICP offers related to good employment

Targeted project to scope and promote the role of the Advanced Clinical Practitioner in cancer

Utilise the NHSE Digital Staff Passport to support recruiting staff to rotational roles where a need has been identified.

Align with the GM Retention Strategy and support planned activity led by the ICP

Collaborate with the GM NHS Integrated Care Virtual Workforce Information System (VWIS) team to collate system wide cancer workforce data, including retention data, surgical audit, and Medical & Clinical Oncology workforce review.

Conduct a gap analysis for research nurses to understand recruitment and retention issues, overlaid with research offer and patient uptake

Support implementation of the ACCEND capability framework to promote retention through continuous professional development

In alignment with ACCEND, support the implementation of the National Acute

Oncology competency passports to upskill all relevant workforce groups working across primary and secondary care

Building on the national Preceptorship and Legacy mentoring programmes, pilot an approach to retaining the cancer workforce throughout their career trajectory

Work with pathway boards to pilot an approach to defining safe caseloads for the CNS’ workforce including a review of current skill mix models, to inform workforce modelling

Expand the GM Cancer Academy – the cancer education hub – to ensure it acts as a single point of access for all cancer education

Establish a Cancer Academy Faculty of subject matter experts to support the development and delivery of education

Support the delivery and sustainability of the Allies in Cancer Care AHP Cancer Training Programme and link this to the ACCEND Programme

Support workforce digitisation including access to online education and development through the Cancer Academy

Ensure equity in access to genomics education for the cancer workforce via the cancer academy

Support the wider rollout of Prehab and rehab through the cancer academy

Build links with the GM Practice Educator

Centre for Excellence to support the expansion of Practice Educators in cancer to ensure equitable access to training and education to improve standardisation of practice

Conduct a needs analysis to understand training needs of our senior leaders and future leaders

Explore a leadership development package to support Pathway Board members in their system role

Create development packages for the nonclinical workforce e.g. Cancer Trackers, Cancer Managers etc.

Our Activity

We are dedicated to fostering the next generation of cancer care professionals and nurturing a passion for this critical field among individuals of all ages. Through a series of engaging careers events, we have collaborated closely with organisations and schools across Greater Manchester to promote careers in cancer and showcase the diverse range of opportunities available. These events provided valuable platforms to connect with individuals, educate them about the multifaceted roles available, and inspire future cancer professionals.

Our recent outreach initiatives have included:

  • Careers Panel Discussion: We hosted a captivating event, inviting college-aged students to engage with a panel of experienced professionals representing various NHS careers. This interactive session provided insights into the diverse roles within the healthcare sector and sparked discussions about future career aspirations.
  • Stockport Foundation Trust Careers Event: We actively participated in an event at Stockport Foundation Trust, highlighting the diverse career opportunities and educational pathways available within the field of cancer care.
  • Science and Industry Museum AHP Event: We partnered with organisations across Greater Manchester and participated in an event at the Science and Industry Museum, specifically focused on Allied Health Professional (AHP) roles. This engaging event attracted an impressive 1,242 individuals over the weekend, igniting interest in healthcare careers among young minds.
  • NHS England and Manchester United Foundation Careers Event: In collaboration with the Foundation and NHS England, we hosted a careers talk focused on careers in cancer at Old Trafford that welcomed secondary school students aged 14-16. Working with the foundation provides access to schools from understeved areas of manchester and an opportunity for them explore the diverse career pathways available in cancer care

To support individuals post event, we have also created cancer specific pages on GM Access. These pages can be found here – Health care careers – GM Access

Through these events, we have successfully engaged with a diverse range of individuals, from primary school age through to adults, fostering an interest in cancer careers. We hope to be a part of other collaborative events in the new year.

The Targeted Placement Expansion Programme (TPEP) is a GM project which focuses on the development and expansion of practice learning, identifying new learning opportunities across all healthcare services & sectors. TPEP has provided an opportunity for the Cancer Alliance to work in collaboration with two localities to embed the ACCEND framework and use this to support growth of our current workforce and attract the future workforce.

As part of TPEP, we recruited two blended practice educators’ roles who have worked in collaboration with learners, HEIS, and PEF teams to successfully develop and pilot oncology focused placement pathways within Bolton and Stockport NHS Trust.

Work is continuing to further increase capacity and evolve placements to include all sectors of healthcare. Work is continuing to further increase capacity and evolve placements to include all sectors of healthcare and explore rolling out additional placement models across other organisations.

The first phase of the National AO Competence Assessment Passport Project with UKONS and UKAOS was recently completed. The AO Competence Assessment Passports are based on the learning outcomes presented in the UKONS Acute Oncology Knowledge and Skills Guidance. The outcome of Phase 1 of the project is the creation of four passports for four levels of multidisciplinary practice, assessor guidance and a user guide.

The primary aims of the project are to support the development of a knowledgeable, skilled and competent health care workforce to ensure safe and timely treatment and care for patients with an acute oncology indication and thus optimise outcomes for patients with cancer. Linking to the HEE ACCEND Capabilities Framework to provide transformational reform within the cancer workforce, the project aims to:

  • Standardise competence assessment across four levels of practice
  • Improve patient safety by raising awareness of cancer-related emergencies
  • Enhance communication and collaboration between health care teams to optimise outcomes for people with cancer.

View the project update

2023 was the 2nd year we led National Cancer CNS day in collaboration with UKONS and Macmillan. All Cancer Alliances came together to showcase the valued workforce and highlight the positive impact they have on our cancer services and patient care. The day was kickstarted with a dedicated breakfast webinar and was filled with local events, podcasts and social media posts. The day was another amazing success and trended #1 on twitter.



Expand the GM Cancer Academy – the cancer education hub – to ensure it acts as a single point of access for all cancer education

Over the past two months, the Cancer Academy have delivered a number live education events to a total of 480 delegates. We received consistent positive feedback from our live event offerings throughout October and November with an average event rating of 4.65/5 across all 4 events and 100% of delegates recommending the events to a colleague.

A variety of educational offers will be delivered over the next few months, all of which are listed below.

– New indications for the GM One Stop Lung Cancer Clinic: multimodality treatment webinar – 15th December 2023 13.00-14.00

– Managing Cancer in Older Patients Webinar – 25th January 2023 25th 12.00 – 14.00

– Colorectal Stakeholder Event – 6th February 2024 09.00 – 16.30

– Children’s & TYA Cancer Conference – 1st March 2024

– Role of the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) in Senior Adult Oncology Services Webinar – 7th March 2024 12.00 – 14.00

– The Cancer Academy has been working in collaboration with the GM Cancer Voices Community to develop patient and carer education for representatives. This education will be available on the Cancer Academy website in 2024

Greater Manchester Cancer Academy ePortfolio

Are you a Greater Manchester Cancer Academy user?

You can now access our brand new system designed to support you with your professional development.

With the ePortfolio you’re able to log your learning achievements and highlight development opportunities to progress with your career. The new system is centred around the levels of practice in the ACCEND framework.

Not only does it house the full ACCEND framework, but we’ve also created the speciality specific frameworks for each cancer pathway.

The urology framework is already live, with colorectal, lung, breast and Acute Oncology to launch over the next few months. Create your account on the Cancer Academy today, and you’ll have the resources you need to progress: all in one place.

CNS Away Days

This year we were thrilled to host our first cancer CNS away days, tailored exclusively for our cancer clinical nurse specialists across GM. These dedicated events were designed to provide a supportive environment where our CNS’s can take a step back from clinical work, connect with their peers and gain new insights and inspiration. The sessions included personalised care, leadership and compassion fatigue.

The events were a great success and the feedback has been overwhelming positive. We hope to co-ordinate similar events led by workforce need in the future, so please watch this space.

Celebrating Success and Nurturing the Future CNS Workforce: Insights from the Aspiring CNS Programme

The first recruits successfully completed the GM Aspiring CNS Programme, a rigorous 12-month journey designed to cultivate the next generation of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). The programme’s evaluation affirmed its resounding success, while also identifying areas for refinement in future iterations, such as aligning the curriculum with the ACCEND Framework. We take immense pride in offering a holistic model that seamlessly integrates theoretical learning with practical placements, providing participants with in-depth exposure to the multifaceted role of a CNS. Below, we highlight some key takeaways from the programme:

Key Takeaways:

– The Aspiring CNS Programme triumphantly propelled three participants into CNS roles.

– The programme’s immersive curriculum instilled participants with comprehensive knowledge and a robust skillset.

– Ongoing projects are leveraging the programme’s successful model for future iterations, ensuring alignment with the ACCEND Framework and the incorporation of inclusive practices.