Cancer patient experience improves – NNUH rated within top most improved Trusts

Cancer patients at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are treated with respect, given treatment choices and are benefiting from better services according to the results of a national survey, announced today by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

Eighty nine per cent of cancer patients at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have rated their overall care as excellent or very good.  Overall, the second national cancer patient experience survey showed that 98 trusts have improved on their results from last year, with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust amongst those most improved. Across the country, 88 per cent of those surveyed rated their overall care as excellent or very good.

The survey provides detailed information on cancer patients’ experiences of cancer services – allowing the NHS locally to see how it is performing and to focus on areas where improvement is needed, including better information for patients and better support during inpatient stays.

Alan Stephens, Chair of Together Against Cancer, a Norfolk patient group, said:
“We speak to many patients and carers in and around the hospital and the survey results back up what we have found ourselves.  A lot of hard work has been put in over the last year. Helping people, holistically, through a very difficult time is challenging so we are really pleased that this has been acknowledged.”

Mr Jo Nieto, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at NNUH, said:  “We’re delighted to see an improvement in how patients rate their experience with us.  Coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment is very difficult, so it’s reassuring to know that we are supporting people in the best possible way during a challenging time in their lives.”

Key findings from the survey show patients at Norfolk and Norwich University hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are:

Given clear answers – 91 per cent (91 per cent in 2010) of patients saying that they received understandable answers to important questions all or most of the time from their Clinical Nurse Specialist;

Treated with dignity – 96 per cent (95 per cent in 2010) of patients saying that they were always given enough privacy when being examined or treated;

Seen quickly – 83 per cent (79 per cent in 2010) of patients feeling they were seen as soon as necessary by a hospital doctor;

Treated with respect – 86 per cent (84 per cent in 2010) of patients feeling they were told sensitively that they had cancer;

Speaking at a visit to Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trusts, the second most improved trust in the country, the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley said:

“We want an NHS which puts patients at the heart of everything, with a focus on the outcomes which matter most to people. This survey shows we are heading in the right direction.

“An improved patient experience for cancer patients is fantastic news and I would like to thank those doctors and nurses who have worked tirelessly to improve standards of care.
“Where Trusts are doing less well, I would urge them to look at what patients are telling them and take action so that cancer care best practice is adopted across the whole of the NHS.”

The survey was completed by more than 70,000 patients this year which was up from last year.

Trusts have taken action in a range of different ways since the last survey, to tackle the issues identified.  In addition, Quality Health, who carried out the survey, went to talk through the results with last year's under performing Trusts and most of these have now significantly improved this year.  The 10 most improved trusts for this year's survey were:

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust
East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Medway NHS Foundation Trust

National Cancer Director Professor Sir Mike Richards said:

“The information from this survey is vital to driving improvements on the ground for patients. By seeing what areas they can improve upon, the local NHS can focus on the areas that matter most to patients.

“I am looking forward to seeing even more improvements in the results from the survey we will carry out later this year.”

Whilst the survey showed a vast improvement from last years survey, it also highlighted areas which trusts will need to look at including findings which revealed that only 60 per cent  of patients said doctors or nurses definitely gave their family or someone close to them all the information they needed to help care for them at home.

The Department of Health, through Quality Health, has sent all the Trusts their individual reports, so that they can identify areas for improvement.  These Trusts can invite Quality Health in to explain the survey results, so they can see where and how they can improve services for their cancer patients.

Notes to editors

1.For further information please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 020 7210 5436.

71,793 people completed the survey which is an increase of one per cent from the 2010. 

Thursday 16th of August 2012 11:00:37 AM