Cancer patients at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust say they are treated with dignity and respect and are involved in decisions about their care, according to a national survey.
The Trust has been praised for the quality of care it offers cancer patients in the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2015, which was commissioned by NHS England and overseen by the National Cancer Experience Advisory Group.
Patients scored cancer services in Rotherham as 8.7. This compares with Sheffield cancer services which scored 8.8, Barnsley 8.8, Chesterfield 8.6 and Doncaster 8.6. Nationally, specialist hospitals such as The Christie, Manchester, scored 8.8 and the Royal Marsden 8.9.
Janine Birley, the Associate Director of Cancer Services at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really pleased with the survey results and would like to thank all our patients for taking the time to share their experiences with NHS England.
“We narrowly missed being in the top 20 acute Trusts for patient experience by 0.3 per cent but it’s reassuring to see we’re ranked closely with specialist cancer hospitals and Trusts of similar size within the region.
“There’s lots of fantastic work going on throughout the Trust to support patients, their families and carers who are dealing with all kinds of cancers. Colleagues across all disciplines have worked really hard to contribute to the results outlined in this report.
“But we will never be complacent and are committed to improving the care we provide by acting on feedback from patients, their families and carers, visitors and our staff.”
The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey was published in July 2016 and is designed to monitor national progress on cancer care, to provide information about how quality improvements can be made, to assist commissioners and providers of cancer care and to inform the work of the various charities and stakeholder groups supporting cancer patients.
Patients were asked 50 questions about their experience of cancer care between October 2015 and March 2016.
In Rotherham, the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey also found:
• 93 per cent of patients felt they were treated with dignity and respect
• 83 per cent of patients felt as involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about care and treatment
• 98 per cent of patients said they were given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist who would support them throughout their treatment
• 92 per cent of patients felt it was ‘quite easy’ or ‘very easy’ to contact their Clinical Nurse Specialist
• 95 per cent of respondents said hospital staff told them who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after they left hospital.
• 69 per cent of people questioned said they thought the GPs and nurses at their general practice definitely did everything they could to support them while they were having cancer treatment.
Cancer patients are supported in various ways by Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, whether at Rotherham Hospital, in the community or by our partners.
For example, Macmillan Cancer Support fund a benefits advice and advocacy service to help ease people’s financial worries during their illness. This includes ongoing advice to patients, their carers and family.
Guided by feedback from patients, the Trust’s specialist cancer nursing team has worked with charities Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care to form a pledge which sets out the standards of care people with the condition can expect. Rotherham is one of 15 hospitals nationally and just two in South Yorkshire to sign up to the Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge.
The pledge shows Trust colleagues are committed to; treating patients in a holistic way, providing clear, written guidance to newly diagnosed patients; and organising an annual forum for patients with breast cancer.
Michelle Fletcher, Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist and Lead Cancer Nurse at TRFT, said: “We really value the feedback we’ve received from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey and will make sure it helps us develop our services for patients in future. It’s rewarding to be part of a team which has been championed for treating patients with dignity and respect and who involve patients in making decisions about their care. I hope the survey results reassure Rotherham patients that if they are dealing with cancer then they are in good hands.”
More people than ever are surviving after a cancer diagnosis but we know the impact of cancer doesn't stop when treatment is over. The Trust is working with Macmillan Cancer Support to help improve their experience by delivering the Macmillan Living With And Beyond Cancer Programme, which specifically looks at breast, bowel and prostate cancer services.