Perceptions of the cancer care left undone in primary and community services: A mixed methods evaluation

Primary and community care in the UK are under increasing workforce and time pressures, particularly as the number of people in the UK living with and beyond cancer is set to increase to 4 million by 2030. This study explored how these pressures affect delivery of cancer care through questionnaires and interviews with primary and community care staff in London. The evaluation revealed a perception from primary and community care that there is work in cancer care that is currently being left undone. 64% of the workforce reported that they worked 10 or more hours of unpaid overtime per week. Respondents identified psychological care for people with cancer (PWC), and bereavement care for families and carers of PWC as the most common areas that were left undone. This study sheds light on the workload of cancer care provision in primary and community care, a topic rarely explored. These results demonstrate that there are areas of cancer care that are left undone, a foundation on which to base further research to improve cancer care. The first step in doing so is by acknowledging that time and workforce pressures hinders optimal delivery of cancer care, and support for primary and community carers is required.

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