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Oncology, Chemotherapy and Palliative Care

In January 2011, Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer was published. The strategy set out how the future direction for cancer treatment will be aligned with Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS in addition to meeting its stated aim to saving an additional 5,000 lives every year by 2014/15, aiming to narrow the inequalities gap at the same time.

Prior to this, the National Chemotherapy Advisory Group published Chemotherapy services in England: Ensuring quality and safety in 2009.


Skills for Health worked in partnership with National Cancer Action Team and Department of Health to develop the chemotherapy workforce as a result of the NCAG report. The following resources have been developed to support the chemotherapy workforce:

  • Chemotherapy National Occupation Standards
  • New roles were identified within nursing and pharmacy, particularly in advanced practice and pre-registration
  • A learning pathway was developed with a view to recommend a national course for chemotherapy.

Transferable role templates (TRTs) have been developed in collaboration with practitioners across the UK. They are of use to education and commissioning bodies, workforce planners and development specialists, and individual service leads or staff.

Transferable role templates offer a structured approach to developing relevant, transferable and nationally endorsed roles which are applicable across different locations and services. They use the Career Framework for Health level descriptors and include indicative learning and development together with core and specific national occupational standards for each role.

For oncology, chemotherapy and palliative care please visit the Roles Directory to search and view the available roles.

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Some policies, strategies and guidance were developed under the previous government.