Hospital trust named country's most improved cancer centre

Macmillan cancer

Cancer patients have rated Southampton’s university hospitals the most improved centre in the country.

The national cancer patient experience survey 2012-13, published by NHS England, questioned 116,000 inpatient and day case patients across 155 NHS trusts about their care, treatment and communication from doctors and nurses.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals and hospice Countess Mountbatten House, recorded some of the highest scores in the country for giving patients clear verbal (91%) and written (92%) explanations of tests, investigations and operations.

Patients also said they were treated with respect and dignity and not as a set of symptoms (85%), while 91% rated their overall cancer care as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, which placed UHS among the top 20% of trusts nationwide. 

In addition, three-quarters (75%) of patients had confidence in the doctors and nurses treating them, which is up 8% on 2011-12 results, while more patients said their families were given the opportunity to talk to hospital doctors (69%).

Alison Keen, head of cancer nursing at UHS and lead for the national survey, said: “The improvements this year are due to the hard work and commitment of the clinical teams involved in delivering a high standard of care and they reflect good communication with a philosophy of treating patients respectfully as individuals.

“Staff have championed the quality aspects of patient care and ensured that any areas of weakness highlighted from last year’s survey were clearly identified and actions put into place to make the necessary progress and I’d like to say a special thanks to the clinical nurse specialists who strive year-on-year to ensure that best practice is shared and that patients are at the heart of all we do.”

The Trust also recorded improved scores for pain management (89%), information about free prescriptions (82%) and information about support groups (83%).

David Crosby, general manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in central and south west England, added: “We congratulate University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust for being rated by its patients as one of the most improved trusts in the country and the work they have done to achieve this. 

“We know that the support and care people receive is as important as their actual treatment, and can make all the difference between coping with cancer and finding it a real struggle. For example, being told about financial help that is available, or being provided with high quality information about their cancer and its treatment.”

Posted on Thursday 5 September 2013