Our Latest News

Social Prescribing for Cancer Patients

7 May 2021

Macmillan have published a new guide on the importance of social prescribing for people with a diagnosis of cancer. Although this guide is targeted primarily at Primary Care Networks it also describes a broad range of case studies and ties social prescribing to holistic needs assessment and the personalised care agenda.

Macmillan Launch the ‘PRosPer’ Programme

22 April 2021

A personalised approach to care and support ensures that people’s needs can be fully identified, and the appropriate support planned. It is vital that care and support is planned and arranged around what matters to people, their individual strengths and developed abilities.

UKONS Announce Partnership with Oncology Professional Care Virtual

6 May 2021

UKONS are pleased to announce the launch of CloserStill Media’s latest virtual event, Oncology Professional Care, taking place on the 9 -10 June 2021. This two-day educational programme will be aimed at all healthcare professionals working in the oncology community.

Free-to-attend for NHS and private healthcare professionals, registrations can be made at: https://www.oncologyprofessionalcare.co.uk/ukons

Evidence of the impact of COVID-19 across the cancer pathway: key stats

Cancer Research UK have published some useful and informative statistics relating to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer services.

Royal College of Nursing 2021 Nursing awards

Entries now open for the Royal College of Nursing’s 2021 Nursing Awards:

Celebrating research nursing with the Excellence in Cancer Research Nursing Award (sponsored by Cancer Research UK)

EONS is launching a call for nominations for 1 EONS Board member

We are specifically aiming at an EONS Board position for a Young Cancer nurse (under 35 at the time of the nomination).

EONS full members (EONS individual members and members of an EONS National Oncology Nursing Society) are herewith cordially invited to provide nominations for this role.

Call for Abstracts Open for UKONS Conference

8 April 2021

This year the theme of the conference is ‘Caring Connections’. The abstracts are to be submitted in one of the following categories:

•           Education standards for cancer nursing

•           Innovations in cancer nursing

•           Personalised care and support

Research suggests that delaying second COVID vaccine does leave cancer patients vulnerable to virus

29 March 2021

Data from the world’s first reported trial to examine the level of immune protection after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in cancer patients has found that anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses at week 3 following the first dose of the vaccine were only 39% and 13% in the solid and haematological cancers, compared to 97% in those without cancer.

BJN Oncology Nurse of the Year Winners

25 March 2021

Stepping Up: running and coordinating a symptomatic breast cancer service without direct breast surgeon supervision

UKONS are pleased to have had the opportunity to talk to Claire, one of this year’s winners of the prestigious, UKONS sponsored, ‘British Journal of Nursing Oncology Nurse of the Year’ award.

UKONS Board Election 2021: Call for nomination of candidates

23 March 2021

We are writing to ask UKONS members to consider standing for election to the UKONS Board as we have three vacant positions. In order to nominate yourself you will require the support of two current UKONS Board members and your line manager. UKONS cannot offer remuneration to Board members for their time; however appropriate travel expenses and necessary accommodation are reimbursed.

The Board are seeking enthusiastic members who are committed to furthering UKONS aims and are willing and able to spend time helping to run the organisation.

Invitation to tender: Digitalisation UKONS SACT Competency Passport

16 March 2021

Invitation to tender: Digitalisation UKONS Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) Competency Passport

Closing date for submission: 16th April 2021.


16 March 2021


UKONS Sponsored ‘BJN Oncology Nurse of The Year’

Congratulations to all of the winners in the BJN awards announced earlier this week. UKONS sponsor the ‘Oncology Nurse of the Year’ and are thrilled to say that this year’s prize was won by Claire Herlihy, Amy Barrow, Karen Hillman & Abbi Osbourne all members of the Breast Care Nursing Team, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

UKONS Radiotherapy Steering Group 2021

15 March 2021

Call for nomination of members:

Dear UKONS MIG member,

We are writing to ask UKONS members to consider becoming a UKONS Radiotherapy Steering Group member. There are eight seats available.

What are your experiences with the pandemic?

15 March 2021

As oncology nurses, we understand the needs of our patients, yet the COVID-19 pandemic has vastly impacted our ability to attend to those needs. We have encountered complicated challenges from screening to survivorship and end of life, and we have developed new ways to respond.

Webpage Launch: UKONS Sexual Health and Well-being (SHWB)

25 February 2021

UKONs are pleased and proud to announce the launch of a new section of our website covering Sexual Health and Well Being. This is a publicly available page.

UKONS believe that sexual health is an important aspect of the lives of our patients, and those who love and care for them, and are committed to improving the manner in which nurses, and other health professionals, approach this element of care.

Clinical Cancer advances 2021: ASCO’s Report on progress against cancer

This report highlights the most important clinical research advances of the past year and identifies priority areas where ASCO believes research efforts should be focused moving forward. 

The Impact of COVID 19 on the cancer workforce

A research team led by professor Andreas Charalambous, undertakes a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the cancer care workforce, as a means to comprehensively understand how the workforce has been influenced by the pandemic.

Macmillan Updates

Check out these resources from Macmillan.

Update on vaccines from the UK Chemotherapy Board

As we recently covered in Breaking News the UK Chemotherapy Board has published guidance and Clinician Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on COVID-19 vaccines for patients receiving Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy.

Differentiate lung cancer from COVID-19: infographic guidance

The UK Lung Cancer Clinical Expert Group (CEG) and Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation have developed guidance on how to differentiate lung cancer from COVID-19. This is in the form of an infographic. Overlapping lung cancer and COVID-19 symptoms can mean that health education advice and messaging to patients about the importance of early diagnosis in Lung Cancer is confused, and possibly negated, by advice necessary to control the COVID pandemic.

UKONS Position Statement on SACT Nursing Staff in the UK

The UKONS Board have been asked by its members for guidance about NMC registered nursing associates who are employed as band 4 staff giving SACT drugs. We have consulted with members of the UKONS SACT MIG Committee, the UKONS Lead Cancer Nurse forum and external organisations to draft this Position Statement.

Grant: Burdett Trust for Nursing

New grants programme: Nurse-led improvement projects in digital health

Nurse-led improvement projects in digital health
Grants awarded within this programme are likely to be in the region of £25,000 to £50,000.

BPOS Postgraduate Student Survey

Are you a postgraduate student (e.g. PhD, DPhil, DClin, MPhil, MRes/MA/MSc) conducting UK based cancer research in psychological, behavioural, social science or applied areas? If so, we are seeking your views on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your research and student experience. 

European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) – ICCN2021 Virtual Symposium

Title: Patient focused supportive care in Renal and Hepatic Cancer - the need for an evidence base
Date and Time: 3 February 2021 @ 11:45-12:35 GMT

COVID-19 Latest Information and Updates

1 February 2021

a) Vaccine Updates

b) First people to receive Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

c) COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a

d) COVID-19 vaccination: information for healthcare practitioners

e) New SARS-CoV-2 variant

We want to understand more about the emotional and psychological support provided to people who have been diagnosed with blood cancer.

To date there is no evidence around health professionals’ current practice and knowledge around emotional and psychological support for patients with blood cancer, and limited evidence on patient experiences and unmet needs. This survey which is part of a wider study seeks to address this and will look to explore level of emotional and psychological support provided to people who have been diagnosed with blood cancer in England. 

What does the new UK-EU relationship mean for cancer?

The UK has now completed the transition period and has left the European Union with a trade deal. Cancer Research UK have considered how the new UK-EU relationship may affect cancer services and research.

Large study finds Rapid Diagnostic Clinic (RDC) effective in detecting cancer and serious conditions in vague symptom patients

Rapid Diagnostic Clinics (RDCs) are based on a Danish ‘three-legged’ cancer model. Patients with alarm symptoms are referred into hospital for fast-track assessment and those with a low risk of cancer referred back to the GP. Rapid Diagnostic Clinics (RDC) are being expanded nationally by NHS England but, in reality, little data assessing the effectiveness of RDC models are available in an English population. Guy’s Hospital RDC established a ‘vague symptoms pathway’ for GPs and internal referrals for patients with symptoms concerning for malignancy not suitable for other, site-specific, urgent referrals. This large study evaluated all patients referred to Guy’s RDC between December 2016 and June 2019 (n = 1341) to assess the rate of cancer diagnoses, frequency of benign conditions and effectiveness of the service.

UKONS SACT passport answer guide now accessible electronically

We are pleased to let our membership know that the UKONS SACT passport answer guide is now accessible electronically. To request access please complete the ‘UKONS Declaration for access to the electronic SACT answer guide’ form which can be found on the SACT MIG webpage.

UKONS Acute Oncology Initial Management Guidelines now released as mobile App

We are incredibly pleased to announce that the successful and widely used UKONS Acute Oncology Initial Management Guidelines have been developed as an iOS and Android App for mobile devices. The App can be downloaded on your mobile device from your App store by searching for “UKONS Sundown Solutions Ltd”.

UKONS SACT Competence Passport Practice Assessor Online Training

Please find below the link to the new online training for SACT Practice Assessors, who are supervising and assessing students using the UKONS SACT Competence Passport. 

The Forgotten ‘C’? The impact of Covid-19 on cancer care.

In this report Macmillan sets out the scale of the backlog to cancer care across the UK and the results of modelling to assess how long it could take to return to ‘normal’ pre-pandemic service levels. The report also highlights the experience of people living with cancer during the pandemic. These people outline how frightening it is to have treatments, tests and appointments cancelled and disrupted and their worries about feeling abandoned by the health system. 

UKONS Hosts Successful First Virtual Conference

From the 19th to 21st November UKONS hosted our first ever virtual conference on the theme of ‘Nursing at the Core of Cancer Care’. We had chosen this theme in celebration of the WHO ‘Year of the Nurse’ but also the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Little did we know at the time that nursing would be thrust into the fore-front of everyone’s minds by March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK and NHS workers were lauded as national heroes.

Another effect of the pandemic was to force us into deciding to postpone our planned conference in Belfast and reschedule for November 2021, replacing this year’s conference with our first completely virtual event.

Macmillan calls on government to reverse the gap in the specialist cancer nurse workforce

In their new publication entitled 'Addressing the gap' Macmillan highlight the current, and increasing, shortfalls in the numbers of specialist cancer nurses required to support people with a cancer diagnosis, both now and in the future.

Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer: a roadmap to the Future

 Early detection and diagnosis  i s arguabl y the single most important and impactful objective we can have in order to save more lives lost to cancer in the UK.  Patients diagnosed early have the best chance of curative treatment and long-term survival.  Despite this, only  55% of cancers are currently detected  early in England, for example. There is a  pressing  need  to see a paradigm shift in our ability to  accurately  detect and diagnose cancer at an early stage  to transform health outcomes, in a field beset by scientific and health system challenges.

NHS to radically overhaul diagnostic service delivery

Professor Sir Mike Richards was asked to review diagnostic services as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. This review is now complete and it is hoped his proposals will help save lives and improve people’s quality of life including for cancer, stroke, heart disease and respiratory conditions. 

In his report the UK’s former Cancer Czar Sir Mike proposed that these new services would be ‘COVID-free’, with diagnostic checks in ED increasingly separated from tests taken ahead of routine procedures. He stressed that the need for radical change has been further amplified by the pandemic.

EONS Young Cancer Nurse Nightingale Challenge Webinar Series

The EONS Young Cancer Nursing Study has highlighted specific issues young cancer nurses experience in Europe relating to training, education and mentorship.  In response to the issues identified in the EONS Young Cancer Nursing Study, the Young Cancer Nurses’ Network Nightingale Challenge will provide young cancer nurses with an opportunity to engage in a series of educational webinars which provide information about personal and professional development in cancer nursing.

Appeal to Support Beirut nurses affected by the August 4th Explosion

Dear UKONS members,

We would like to introduce you to Dr Myrna Doumit, President of the Order of Nurses in Lebanon and oncology nurse extraordinaire. In the linked video and letter below she recounts the sheer trauma and tragedy unfolding due to the massive explosion on August 4th. On that day over 200 nurses were directly affected with 6 colleagues losing their life.

Launch of the UK Chemotherapy Board Website

The Chemotherapy Board (UKCB) has a pivotal role in the UK delivery and governance of SACT providing guidance, oversight and support for the continuing development of chemotherapy services in the UK. In an exciting development for all professionals working with SACT the UKCB now has a new dedicated website.

Research: Training needs of clinicians to improve end-of-life care for adolescents and young adults with cancer

In collaboration with the University of Southampton  and the Global Accord (Teenage Cancer Trust, CanTeen & Teen Cancer America) Teenage Cancer Trust are involved in a programme of work looking at end-of-life communication with young (12-39yo) people with cancer.

The overall aim of the work is to compare best-practice 'standards of care' to inform how training and support resources can be designed for health professionals working with young people in end of life care. This is the UK arm of the survey, recruitment has taken place in Australia and New Zealand.