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London Trusts perform 'badly' on cancer patient experience

A number of London's NHS hospitals have found themselves at the bottom of a league table measuring the experiences of cancer patients across England, it is claimed.

The research, carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support, shows Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is the worst performing Trust on cancer patient experience for the second year running.

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust came in as the best performing Trust, also for the second year in a row.

The league table measures a range of patients' experiences while being treated for cancer at hospital including: whether their diagnosis and treatment options were explained clearly to them; whether they felt supported in their care; and whether they felt they were treated with respect.
“Though many hospitals have made an improvement, far too many cancer patients are being let down by hospitals failing to provide an adequate level of care,” said Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support.
“Patient experience and non-clinical needs must be given as much priority as medical activities.
“Patient experience is one of the Government's five key measures for success in the NHS, so Trusts need to take heed and work with Macmillan and others to urgently improve the care they offer cancer patients.

“I am encouraged many Trusts are taking this seriously.”

Nine out of ten of the bottom Trusts are based in London with eight of the top performing Trusts being based in the North of England.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was found to score “particularly badly” on areas such as whether outpatients were seen early or within 30 minutes of appointments (54% compared with 70% national average), and patients' ease of access to their clinical nurse specialists (60% compared with 66% in 2010).

However, Devane said Imperial is “committed” to addressing its problems and is “working well” with Macmillan and cancer patients.
The research also revealed breast cancer patients in England have the best patient experience, while sarcoma patients continue to have the poorest.

Why do you think London Trust are performing poorly when scored on cancer patient experience?