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MP calls for govt to improve cancer services

September 9, 2013 4:39 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron backed a report by Macmillan Cancer Support in parliament last week. The report, Improving care for people with cancer, highlights the patient experience for people suffering from cancer.NHS England recently published results from the third national Cancer Patient Experience Survey. The survey aims to record and measure how cancer patients feel about their experience of care, such as:

• whether they felt they'd been treated with respect and dignity throughout their treatment

• whether they had confidence in the staff looking after them

• whether they felt they had been given enough information.

The good news is that experiences of cancer care are improving. Almost 90% of patients describe their care as excellent or very good. What's more, around half of all hospital trusts have improved on last year's results.

The new report from Macmillan Cancer Support, Improving care for people with cancer, builds on that work and includes a number of recommendations for how they think the patient experience can get better.

One of the key messages from the report is that patient experience is not being prioritised throughout the NHS. This is despite hearing from patients that it is as important to them as the other aspects of quality care: clinical effectiveness and safety. A bad patient experience can impact on a person's health, be related to poor recovery and cost the NHS money.

Tim said: "Helping patients and their families is vital. The gruelling travel and the heartache is awful. This report is another piece of evidence showing why we need radiotherapy services at Westmorland General. I will keep fighting to bring this service and give patients the care they need, on their doorstep."