Cancer patients in Wales will be given the chance to tell the NHS and the Welsh Government what they think about the services they have received.
When it was published in November 2012, Together For Health – A Cancer Delivery Plan for Wales made the commitment to carry out a national cancer patient experience survey. The aim of this survey is to understand patient experience and use the information to drive service improvement.
The Welsh Government and Macmillan Cancer Support have worked in partnership to develop the Cancer Experience Survey, which will be sent through the post to patients in the next month.
It will be the first national survey of cancer patients in all parts of Wales. The survey will be issued to a sample of people with a diagnosis of cancer, who had a hospital stay between June last year and March 2013. The Welsh Government recognises that this can be a very distressing time for patients and their families, but if patients take the time to give feedback on the service they have experienced, valuable information can be gathered to deliver real improvement.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford said:
“The best people to ask about how cancer services are being delivered in Wales are the patients themselves. They have a raft of experience and are experts in their own lives. There is a great deal to learn from what they have to say.
“When a patient hears a doctor deliver a diagnosis of cancer, it is a life changing moment. How the doctor delivers that diagnosis and the support the individual receives, not just for their medical care, can impact on the outcome for the individual.
“The Cancer Experience Survey asks questions that cover each stage, from diagnosis to hospital care to home support. I would encourage all those who receive a survey to take the time to complete it. The information you provide can help improve services in the future.”
Susan Morris, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said:
“Macmillan is delighted that the Welsh Government is conducting an all-Wales cancer patient experience survey.
“It is the first time such a comprehensive survey of cancer patients’ experiences of care has been conducted in Wales and Macmillan is really pleased to be a partner in this important initiative.
“It is vitally important to measure survival rates and cancer waiting times targets, but it is equally important to find out what patients really think about the quality of the care they receive.
“Local Health Boards must take the survey’s results into consideration to inform planning for future cancer services to make sure these services meet people’s clinical and non-clinical needs and that they are truly person-centred.”
The Cancer Experience Survey will be sent through the post, with a Freepost envelope to return it. There will also be a FREEPHONE helpline, so anyone who needs assistance with the survey can call 0800 783 1775.