Cancer charity ranks Barts Health as worst for patients’ experience

Barts Health NHS has been rated as the worst performing Trust for cancer patients’ experience in a league table released by a charity.

The Trust, which is the biggest in the country, is responsible for running six hospitals, including Newham University Hospital. It is among eight listed in the bottom 10 of Macmillan Cancer Support’s annual league table.

The charity’s league table of Trusts in England follows NHS England’s release on September 25 of the National Cancer Patient Experience survey 2014 of just over 70,000 cancer patients. It asked 70 questions about patients’ experience of care – such as whether their diagnosis and treatment options were explained clearly to them; whether they felt supported in their care; and whether they felt they were treated with respect. The survey did not measure medical care.

Last year the charity called for urgent action when the Trust was ranked as the second worst.

This year Macmillan has said for the first time that London Trusts have made ‘enormous efforts’ to improve their patients’ experience of care and that these are beginning to show results.

A spokesman for Barts Health NHS Trust said: “The results of the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey are extremely disappointing; we are very concerned that patients do not always receive the standard of care that we expect for them, and for this we are truly sorry.

“Over the last 12 months, the Trust has begun implementing a range of improvements aimed at addressing many of the concerns patients have raised in the survey. These have focused on improving how we communicate to patients, how we involve them in their care and decision-making around treatments and, ultimately, how we ensure the service is world-class in terms of clinical outcomes and patient experience.

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“It is clear that there is more we must do to improve. We will be introducing further improvements in the coming months, working with clinicians, patients and expert groups to support us in addressing the areas of concern most important to patients.”