Hospital cancer service’s top ten rating

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CHESTERFIELD Royal Hospital’s cancer service has been placed in the country’s top ten following the results of the latest patient experience survey.

The survey was much bigger than the 2010 survey, also undertaken by Quality Health on behalf of the Department of Health, with respondents from twelve different tumour groups instead of just four.

It asked about all aspects of cancer care beginning with how rapidly people are seen for their first appointment, whether appropriate explanations were given about tests and results and whether results were given sensitively. Amongst many other questions they were also asked about the support that was available and how they felt the hospital interacted with their GP.

Some of the key results for the Chesterfield Royal Hospital included:

91% of patients given a choice of different types of treatment

90% given easy to understand written information about tests

95% getting understandable answers to important questions

95% of patients glad to have been asked about taking part in cancer research

93% of patients had confidence and trust in all health care professionals treating them

95% always given enough privacy when examined or treated

Steven Swift, the head of cancer services, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into improving our service since the last survey, which was by no means a bad survey, particularly in the areas of information and communication.

“Over the last few years we have added a lot of different regimens to our cancer treatment services to offer patients in our region more of a choice in where to be treated to allow them to receive care closer to home. I think this choice is reflected in our survey results. The results of this survey, conducted over a number of different disease sites, are tremendous and prove that we have a service the whole region can be proud of.”

Chief executive Gavin Boyle said: “This is a fantastic achievement and proves again what a magnificent group of professionals we have working here. I’ve been hugely impressed by the work that goes on across the cancer team and it’s no surprise to me that this survey backs up my early impressions.

“I am particularly impressed by the fact that the areas where we perhaps wanted to improve after the 2010 survey are some of our best performing areas this time around, whilst work has already begun on addressing the very few areas highlighted for improvement. For me this underlines the importance of patient feedback surveys in that it helps us to identify areas that we need to work on in order to create an even better service.”

There were just three areas of improvement suggested that included, discussing research with more patients, giving the patient the name of their cancer nurse specialist and informing patients about free prescriptions.