Skin Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists: Their role and our campaign for access for all

Skin cancer nurse specialists play an invaluable role in melanoma skin cancer patient care.

At Melanoma Focus we hear from patients through our Melanoma Helpline, support services and patient surveys about how invaluable people find the support of their skin cancer nurse specialist (CNS).

“They give me hope”

The skin cancer nurse specialist role includes coordinating care, explaining test results, providing clinical and emotional support and referring patients for other needs, such as counselling.

However, we know that some melanoma skin cancer patients are not supported by a skin cancer nurse specialist. We also know that many skin cancer clinical nurse specialist are under more pressure than ever with increasing numbers of people needing support, and increasingly complex treatments.

We are campaigning for every melanoma patient to have access to the support of a clinical nurse specialist.

Skin Cancer Specialist Nurse Census 2021

Conducted by Dr Pippa Corrie, Deeya Kotecha and Jashmitha Rammanohar

This census surveyed all secondary care trusts across the four nations, Melanoma Focus members and BASCSN members, requesting information regarding skin cancer specialist nurse posts. It shows that CNS availability and capacity is variable across the UK, with workload increasing in 82% of places, and workload already exceeding capacity in a third of places. We are currently processing the data fully and it will be available soon.

New report: The changing role of skin cancer nurse specialists and their role in melanoma skin cancer patient treatment and care

This report, due to be published in May 2022 will build on the 2021 Skin Cancer Specialist Nurse Census, providing insights from nurses and patients about the invaluable role of skin cancer nurse specialists, and current challenges within the profession.

Useful References:
NICE: Quality statement 5 for skin cancer nurse specialist