London cancer hospitals get 'Red Card'

Liam Trotter Gets the Red Card

Liam Trotter gets Red Card Flickr

Eight of the ten NHS Trusts that came bottom of a hospital league table are from London – so they have been given a ‘Red Card’.

The table measured patient experience across England, in the latest Patient Experience Survey

It does not cover the medical treatments patients received, such as standards of chemotherapy or surgery.  But if patients are worried about their care, they aren’t going to be in the right frame of mind to take advantage of treatment.

The league measures patients’ experiences while being treated at hospital, for example:

  • if there were enough nurses on duty
  • whether they were given enough support from health and social services when they left hospital
  • whether they were given the right emotional support or told about financial information.

Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support says:

‘Cancer patients are being let down by many Trusts that are failing to give adequate levels of care.

The experiences you have whilst in hospital can have a massive impact on your health and wellbeing, and how well you cope once you leave hospital.

We hope that the Trusts given a ‘red card’ will work with community services and take urgent action to improve the care they offer cancer patients.’

According to the research, breast cancer patients in England have the best patient experience, while sarcoma patients have the poorest.

Trusts in the bottom 10 (from worst to best):

1) Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

2=) Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, 2=) The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust

4) Barts and the London NHS Trust

5=) Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, 5=) The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

7) Newham University Hospital NHS Trust

8) Croydon Healthcare NHS Trust (formerly Mayday)

9) Ealing Hospital NHS Trust

10) Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

What do you do if ‘caught’ in one of these hospitals?

Macmillan is calling for the Government to put more focus on improving cancer patient experiences and to provide urgent support to the Trusts with the worst results in its league.  However, as a petition elsewhere on this website says,  Breast Care Nurses are being moved to other departments – so first thing is to sign www.breastcancercare.org.uk/keepourbreastcarenurses

Through over 5,000 Macmillan professionals and over 100 information centres in the UK, Macmillan has a presence at all of the hospitals that came bottom in the league and will be working with them to improve patient experience.

So get in touch with the Macmillan Nurses – ASK what you can do to help.  Often it can be just writing or even phoning a Department to ask them not to close down a service.

If we don’t do anything – why should hospitals think they need to ?

Eight out of the top 10 Trusts, including Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, and Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are in the North of England.

According to the Dept. Health, there are 12 Trusts which never appear in the bottom 20% of Trusts on any question in the survey, as follows:

•        Airedale
•        Barnsley
•        East Cheshire
•        East Sussex
•        Gateshead
•        Harrogate
•        Northumbria
•        Poole
•        Royal Devon and Exeter
•        Sheffield
•        South Tees

You can view the full report for each of the trusts by scrolling down to the relevant trust on this link: http://www.quality-health.co.uk/cancer-reports

And well done to them!

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One thought on “London cancer hospitals get 'Red Card'

  1. Irene April 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm Reply

    Great article – really highlights the ‘offenders’ who need to do better. Well done!
    Christie still delivering gold star service!! A example of best demonstrated practice for the others to follow….

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