Cancer treatment among most improved in UK
CANCER patients at Bristol's city centre hospitals have reported a marked improvement in their experiences.
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the oncology centre, Bristol Royal Infirmary and children's hospital, has been named by the Department of Health as one of ten most improved in the country following a survey of patients.
In the latest national survey of the experience of people with cancer almost 90 per cent rated the overall care at the hospital trust as excellent or very good.
When the cancer patients survey was published last year the hospital trust featured in the bottom 20 per cent nationally in 16 areas, mainly relating to communication, specialist nurse support and respect and dignity.
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But since the disappointing results were published the trust has made some significant improvements.
As previously reported in the Post a dedicated nurse was appointed to oversee the care of cancer patients across the hospitals within the trust.
After her appointment Ruth Hendy said the trust had looked carefully at the results of the last survey and identified the areas that needed particular work to ensure all patients receive high quality care and positive and safe treatment.
James Rimmer, chief operating officer at the trust, said: "We are very pleased to have improved the experience for our patients with cancer. Following last year's patient survey, we focussed on areas that our patients told us we needed to improve.
"I am particularly pleased that 89 per cent of patients rated their care as excellent or very good and 86 per cent of respondents said they were always treated with respect and dignity by staff, up from 81 per cent in last year's survey.
"I am also pleased that we have improved scores that reflect how we communicate with patients but we recognise there is still work to do and we will again use the survey results to focus our efforts.
"We now need to ensure that we consistently communicate well with patients, particularly around diagnostic tests and how we communicate patients' cancer diagnosis cancer clearly and sympathetically to them.
"We also need to work more effectively with partners to provide care after patients are discharged from hospital."
At North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs Frenchay and Southmead hospitals, 91 per cent of cancer patients reported being treated with dignity, while 98 per cent patients at Weston Area Health Trust said they were treated with dignity.
More than 860 patients with a cancer diagnosis who had been admitted to one of the trust's hospitals as either an inpatient or a day case patient between September and November 2011 responded to the survey.