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Barts Health signs up to improve services for secondary breast cancer sufferers

PUBLISHED: 11:26 29 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:57 29 April 2014

Barts Health has teamed up with two leading breast cancer charities to identify areas of good practice and improvements to services for people diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.

Barts Health NHS Trust, together with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Care, has signed up to the Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge, committing it to providing the best possible care to patients diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in hospitals that include Whipps Cross, St Bartholomew’s and Newham General.

Jacky Jones, Breast Clinical Nurse Specialist at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “We value feedback from patients highly to help us know what we are doing well and also what we could improve on so that we give people the best care possible.

“We are delighted that our patients told us our staff are caring and provide high-quality care and we are grateful to those who took the time to tell us about their experience and joined us to look together at ways to implement improvements.”

Improvements were identified through patient questionnaires, and patients were also included in discussions to agree on the best way to go about implementing the required changes.

One significant request from patients was for more information about financial services, emotional support and lifestyle advice, and the Trust has committed to providing this by running monthly drop-in advice sessions.

Of the 50,000 women and 400 men diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, it is still not known exactly how many will develop secondary breast cancer – cancer that has spread beyond the breast or armpit to other parts of the body. Secondary breast cancer cannot be cured but can be treated and controlled, sometimes for a number of years.

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