Early Diagnosis Workforce

A campaign to take action on NHS staff shortages in England

Nurse setting up MRI scan for patient

What is the campaign about?

Early diagnosis could help thousands more survive their cancer. Every year more people are referred for diagnostic tests and services are struggling to keep up with the growing demand. Cancer patients in England are being let down. The Government needs to train and employ more NHS staff to diagnose cancer earlier.

Why take action in this campaign?

  • The earlier a cancer is diagnosed the more likely it is to be treated successfully. Look at bowel cancer for example: when found at an early stage, 9 in 10 people will survive. But when diagnosed later, only 1 in 10 people will survive.
  • Just over half of people are diagnosed early in England. We can do so much better.
  • Right now, over 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled and thousands more staff will be needed in the future. These skilled NHS staff are vital to carry out cancer tests.

Two years ago, the Government announced their ambition to improve the lives of cancer patients. They recognised how important early diagnosis is to achieve this. Since then, not enough progress has been made. Survival rates plummet when cancer isn’t caught early.

You can help give more people with cancer the best chance of survival through an earlier diagnosis. Use our template email to write to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and ask him to train and employ more diagnostic NHS staff to help diagnose people early.

Take action now 

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