(2) column 743W, on cancer: nurses, how long he estimates it will take to provide training to the additional workforce.
There are about 2,300 specialist cancer nurses at present. We are investing £20 million in 2011-12 to work with Macmillan to introduce more specialist cancer nurse posts. In terms of the number of new posts this will fund, we will be looking at possible new models of care, which will have an impact on the number of new nurses needed, but we are likely to need a significant increase in the specialist cancer nurse workforce.
Our plan is to build up the service over a five-year period and our detailed workforce assessment will include reviewing the current provision of training against the differing models and levels of support identified by our work. We will then be able to identify gaps in current provision and work towards appropriate solutions.