Why feedback about cancer care is important
Feedback from people who have experienced cancer care and treatment is a vital part of improving services. It helps to identify what’s working well and what needs to be improved. That makes things better for everyone.
National Cancer Patient Experience Survey
Every year, NHS England runs a large survey, inviting a sample of about 120,000 people who recently had cancer treatment in hospital to take part. It is called the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey. This year the survey will invite a sample of people who have had treatment in April, May and June 2019 to give feedback.
Questions include those about how and when people’s cancer was diagnosed, how involved they felt in decisions about their care and treatment, how much information they were given, whether they were treated with dignity and respect, and experiences of the level of support given by various NHS services and by social services.
Reducing health inequalities in cancer care
People have individual needs and expectations when they have cancer treatment. Sometimes the things that help make them who they are – their religion, race, culture, language, gender, age, health conditions or other factors – can mean they have particular needs.
Services want to understand how these individual factors are affecting people’s treatment experience. Getting your feedback is an important way to do that.
About two-thirds of people reply overall, but responses are lower from people from BME backgrounds compared to white British people.
Across the board, people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds are under-represented in responses to national surveys about cancer. Where they do respond, the data suggests they have a worse experience than other people. The NHS is keen that more people from these backgrounds take part in giving feedback so that health services can understand where things need to improve.
To encourage more people from BME backgrounds to take part, the invitation pack includes information about completing the questionnaire online or over the telephone via a free helpline. A translator can be provided for people who prefer one. People can also ask a friend or family member to help them complete the form as long as the responses are about the patient’s care.
Not all people who have had cancer treatment will be invited to take part in this major national survey, but there are other ways you can give feedback on your experience of care.
If you have been invited to take part in the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, please share your experiences of care, so that care can be improved for everyone in the future.