Picker, an international charity working across health and social care, have published the results of their National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.
Almost 60,000 people responded to the survey, which was coordinated by Picker on behalf of NHS England and conducted between October 2021 and February 2022.
The survey included people aged 16 years and over with a confirmed primary diagnosis of cancer and who had been treated in hospital between April and June 2021.
Summary of results
- People treated for cancer in England report generally positive experiences of care in hospital, but the results also show that care can lack personalisation, and that there are gaps in the wider support for people with cancer outside of hospital.
- Most respondents described positive experiences of care from specialist cancer teams and in hospital. Nine in ten had a main point of contact in their care team (92%), and almost all said that this person was “quite” or “very” helpful (96%). Similarly, respondents were positive about the support they received in hospital. A large majority said that they were “always” treated with respect and dignity (89%) and had confidence and trust in all of the team looking after them in hospital (81%).
- Despite these positive findings about direct patient care from cancer teams and in hospital, other areas showed significant room for improvement. Personalisation and person centredness, which are policy priorities and important to patients and users, were too often lacking. For example, only 70% of respondents said that they were “always” involved in decisions about their care and treatment while in hospital. A similar proportion (72%) said that they “definitely” had a discussion with a member of the team looking after them about their needs or concerns.
- Outside of hospital, the survey showed evidence of gaps in the support available for people with cancer. Of those who said that their GP practice was involved in their cancer treatment, less than half (44%) said that they “definitely” received the right amount of support. Similarly, around one in six respondents (16%) indicated that they would have liked more emotional support at home from community or voluntary services after their cancer treatment had finished.