Our Latest News

COVID-19 Latest Information and Updates

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

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

c) COVID-19 vaccination: information for healthcare practitioners

d) 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.

FREE Virtual Event: The Global Power of Oncology Nursing @ London Global Cancer Week

17 October 2020

The RCN, UKONS and RMH are working jointly to deliver an interactive day of international discussions. The programme is a celebration of cancer nursing from around the world with a focus on low/ middle income countries including a wonderful session in the afternoon on Adolescents and Young Adults receiving cancer care in low/middle income countries

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.

New edition of the Telephone Triage Toolkit

The Oncology/Haematology Telephone Triage Tool Kit for Children's Cancer Services has been updated. It provides guidance for the training, competencies, provision of triage assessment, and audit process for staff answering telephone advice line calls.

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.


Patients with haematological malignancy are most vulnerable to COVID-19

Patients with a cancer diagnosis have been highlighted as potentially more at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases, with a wide range spectrum of tumour subtypes. The aim of this study was to investigate COVID-19 risk according to tumour subtype in patients with cancer in the UK. This was achieved by examining the data of those patients enrolled in the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project (UKCCMP). For comparison, a parallel non-COVID-19 UK cancer control population was derived from the UK Office for National Statistics (2017 data).

UKONS Sessions at the UK Oncology Forum 2020 (24th September)

In our last issue of UKONS Breaking News, we spoke about the two exciting sessions that UKONS are chairing at the UK Oncology Forum. Obviously this is now an entirely virtual conference and is still completely FREE to health care professionals.

UKONS 24 hour triage tool - do you use an ‘electronic’ version?

Here at UKONS we know that many hospitals are looking to innovate and improve the care of patients by moving many of the tools we use to digital and electronic formats. We would really like to know if your Trust uses the UKONS 24 hour triage tool electronically. 

Cancer Research UK Publish Survey on the Impact of COVID Pandemic on Cancer Patients and their Treatment

In response to the major impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on cancer care in the UK, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has conducted, and now published a survey aimed at understanding the impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients’ testing, treatment and care, day-to-day lives and wellbeing, and their support for government policies.

New link to the CR-UK Your Cancer Treatment Record video

10 August 2020

In this short video, Dr Catherine Oakley talks you through your cancer treatment record.