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“Cancer doesn’t care who you are, but we do”, says the NHS

19/10/2018

symbols of people, male and female, side-by-side

The NHS wants to encourage more people to give feedback if they experience cancer care and treatment, particularly people from black and minority ethnic communities who are currently under-represented in responses to surveys.

They are running a poster campaign where they explain: “Cancer doesn’t care who you are, but we do.”

Every year, NHS England runs a large patient experience survey of people who recently had cancer treatment in hospital.  It is called the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey and we will be conducting the 2018 survey over a few months from the middle of October.  Findings will be published next summer.

Hospitals provide details of a representative sample of people aged 16 and over who had a confirmed primary diagnosis of cancer and who were discharged after treatment as an inpatient or day case patient between April and June this year.  Around 110,000 of them each year get a letter in the autumn, inviting them to give feedback about their experience of treatment, either by completing a paper questionnaire (returned in a freepost envelope) or an online form if they prefer.

Questions include those about how and when people’s cancer was diagnosed, how involved they felt in decisions about their care and treatment, how much information they were given, whether they were treated with dignity and respect, and experiences of the level of support given by various NHS services and by social services.

The local-level findings, at trust and CCG level, allows healthcare providers and commissioners to see how they are doing and where they should improve and the national data help track progress against the National Cancer Implementation Plan.

The message from NHS England is, if you receive a questionnaire for the survey, please take part as it will help improve services for everyone.

Not everyone who has cancer treatment will be contacted with a questionnaire but it is still important that everyone who goes through this experience knows there are other ways to give feedback.  It could be through another local or national survey you are asked to complete or you can give feedback through the Friends and Family Test, which is available to anyone, any time, across the NHS.

Click here to find out more on a special web page about giving feedback on cancer care.

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