Sussex cancer care highly praised by patients who have received treatment

Sussex cancer care has been highly praised in a national survey of patients who have been diagnosed with the disease.

The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey published on September 25 completed by 551 local patients rated East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust in the top 20 per cent of providers in the country in six areas including waiting times, information and post-discharge support.

Out of 62 questions, satisfaction with the trust was above the national average in 34 areas, nine were identical to the national average and 19 were below average.

The percentage of patients who said they were seen as quickly as they thought was necessary rose from 79 per cent in 2012, to 86 per cent in 2013 and 87 per cent this year. Patients reporting that they were always treated with respect and dignity by staff went up by two per cent to 87 per cent this year.

Darren Grayson, trust chief executive, said: “The survey shows the excellent quality of care delivered by the Trust and the multi-disciplinary teams providing these services should be highly commended for the level of achievement.

“Looking forward the trust wants to get more patients involved in cancer research trials and trying to make investigative test results easier for patients to understand.

“Although many patients are already enrolled in trials, the trust believes more work can be done at an early stage to ensure that as many patients as possible become involved in trials and research.

“The trust will also look at the type of information given out about investigative tests carried out while diagnosing cancer because 15 per cent of patients said they had not fully understood or had not been given information about what would happen during the test.

“As always with these surveys, there are some areas where we will look to make improvements and we will be working closely with our Cancer Services User Group to achieve these. Overall however, the results are very positive,” Mr Grayson added.

The survey is carried out annually by Quality Health on behalf of the Department of Health; a total of 155 Trusts participated this year.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust provides services at two district general hospitals, Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital and community hospitals throughout Sussex.