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We're saying thank you for the invaluable role that Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) have in a leukaemia patient's journey. We want CNSs to know that they matter to patients, to charities and to other healthcare professionals.

Who are Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)?

A CNS is a nurse either educated to a postgraduate degree level and/or has significant experience in managing and caring for a particular disease type or patient group.

The general responsibilities of a CNS are: providing emotional and physical support for patients, co-ordinating patient care, delivering patient care, educating other staff members, and acting as a patient advocate.

Why do they matter?

Our latest report, ‘My CNS Matters: The invaluable role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist’, highlights findings from our 2016 patient experience survey that demonstrate the improvements that a CNS add to patient experience.

Some of the key findings are:



Clinical Nurse Specialists can help leukaemia patients to feel more positive, improve understanding at each stage of the cancer journey and ensure that patients are supported.

The value that a CNS adds to leukaemia patient care echoes that across all cancers. This is why in 2015 NHS England made the target of ensuring all cancer patients have access to a named key-worker – usually a CNS. 

We identified that out of 2,019 leukaemia patients only 38% said they had access to a CNS. Additionally, we found that there are huge variations across the UK ranging from 30% access to 50% access.

At Leukaemia Care we want to see CNS access reaching the targets of 100% and have made three recommendations for achieving this:

1.       Ensuring that patients are introduced to their CNS from diagnosis.

2.       Increasing the specialisation of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

3.       A general improvement in nursing staff levels across the NHS.

 Download our ‘My CNS Matters: The invaluable role of the clinical nurse specialist’ report here.

Patient stories

 Download our ‘My CNS Matters: The invaluable role of the clinical nurse specialist’ report here.