Workforce Network

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Cancer care and treatment are simply not possible without the cancer workforce. At the European level, there is much that can be progressed in respect to such issues: as elevating training and development; promoting labour mobility and professional qualification recognition; and safeguarding working conditions.

For these reasons and more, we have established a Network on Workforce matters to bring together professions and others to speak as one about the unaddressed policy needs at the European level that could help ensure the right of every cancer patient to specialised multidisciplinary cancer care  is upheld and made a reality. 

The Co-Chairs are currently overseeing the creation of a new consensus position paper of Europe’s cancer professions covering such pressing topics as:

  • How to address the growing problem of workforce shortages in cancer care
  • The unrealised opportunities for stimulating oncology professional qualification recognition and mobility in Europe
  • Evident inequalities in educational opportunities
  • Ensuring the safety of healthcare workers in cancer care
  • Providing attention to work-life balance concerns

An Oncology Workforce in Crisis: Driving political action and finding solutions to the health workforce crisis
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The current shortages within the healthcare workforce are having a profound impact on the dedicated men and women on the frontlines of cancer care in Europe. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists – they are all struggling to cope. More and more of them report unsustainable burnout, forcing them to leave their professions.  Mistakes under these conditions are inevitable, and care is being compromised.   

The European Cancer Organisation, its member societies and supporting community, are embarking on a major new initiative and we invite you, your organisations and networks, to join us on this pan-European campaign which will be launched at the European Cancer Summit

This effort is focused on changing policies within national governments and medical institutions to improve working conditions for cancer professionals throughout Europe. Together, we need to document the full extent of the crisis, assemble more and better data, case studies of impact, and best practices and policy recommendations to highlight and promote.    

We need to hear directly from healthcare providers. Tell us your stories and how the crisis has impacted you, your work, and your colleagues. Change cannot happen unless everyone understands the true scope of the problem.   

Please submit one or more of your narratives to Find more information on the workstreams of the project here

European Cancer Summit 2022 Session: The Oncology Workforce: We Must Act – and INTERACT – to Provide Effective and Equitable Cancer Care
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INTERACT-EUROPE: Development of an Inter-Specialty Cancer Training Programme Across Europe
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INTERACT-EUROPE is an 18-month project (June 2022 - November 2023) co-funded by the EU under the EU4Health programme 2021-2027 as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. INTERACT-EUROPE brings together 33 partners from 17 countries aiming at developing a European inter-specialty cancer training programme involving all main oncology disciplines and professions, cancer centres and patient groups, based on relevant needs assessments.

The project will foster a patient-centric approach to quality cancer care through the promotion of multi-disciplinary and multi-professional team working.  

Read more here.

We Need a Strong Cancer Workforce for High Quality Cancer Care
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We published a consensus paper conveying the critical challenges for the cancer workforce in the context of implementing Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The four key challenges are described as:

  • Resolving the difficulties caused by workforce shortages
  • Reducing unnecessary barriers to professional mobility
  • Improving occupational conditions to protect the safety and well-being of healthcare professionals working in cancer care
  • Enhancing education and development opportunities for healthcare professionals that are now even more achievable in the digital age

Read more here.

Accreditation Council of Oncology in Europe (ACOE)

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A well-trained workforce that constantly updates its knowledge is critical in disease prevention and promoting quality care. Continuing professional development and education is a mainstay requirement to make sure this is the case.

The Accreditation Council of Oncology in Europe (ACOE) provides accreditation to Continuing Medical Education (CME) providers (including Member Societies of the European Cancer Organisation for the benefit of participants receiving education in oncology. Read more here.

To find out more about this Network, or support our work, please contact us here.

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