Cancer care in northern Devon rated highly in national survey

Cancer patients receiving treatment at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) have rated their overall care highly, with an average score of 8.8 out of ten, according to the results of the 2017 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.

The annual survey looks at how cancer patients feel about the care provided by the NHS with results published by NHS England. 286 patients provided feedback about care they received at NDHT.

NDHT also scored above the national average in a number of survey questions:

  • 95% of patients rated their care as good or very good (national average 83%)
  • 99% of patients felt that they received all the information needed about diagnostic tests (national average 95%)
  • 91% of patients found it easy to contact their Clinical Nurse Specialist (national average 86%)
  • 83% of patients were positive that all staff asked them what name they preferred to be called by (national average 69%)
  • 99% of patients felt that their GP was given enough information about their condition and treatment (national average 95%)

Suzanne Tracey, chief executive of NDHT, said: “I’m pleased to see that the findings echo last year’s very positive results and again demonstrate that our patients rate their care very highly.

“These results confirm that our staff are exceptionally compassionate and caring. It’s great to see that we are getting lots of things right for cancer patients, from the small touches that really matter to patients, to the big picture that shows patients are having a good experience overall.”

The survey also helps trusts to identify areas where improvements could deliver a much better experience for patients. This year’s results show that patients across the country feel trusts need to improve the information shared with them and how this is communicated throughout their cancer journey.

Suzanne added: “Cancer care can be complex and often patients will need to see another provider for part of their treatment, which can be a barrier to patients getting all the information they need in a timely way.

“We’ve been working closely with other trusts to improve our lines of communication to better support patients, and are addressing what else we can do at NDHT to improve the experience for patients in northern Devon. We have a lot of plans in motion and are making good progress, and I hope that next year’s survey results will reflect these improvements.”

NDHT are working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support on the Living With and Beyond Cancer project to improve the quality of life for people with cancer in northern Devon. The project is currently rolling out a recovery package, which will improve how, when and where information is shared with patients, and provide more support for their ongoing care.

Supporting the Living With and Beyond Cancer project is a new group called Patient Voice. The group involves NDHT staff and patients who have previously received treatment for cancer at NDHT, and who can provide first-hand experience and valuable feedback on services.

Together they are working on a number of projects to improve the quality of care delivered through cancer services. The group is developing a patient information DVD that can be taken home and watched at any time, helping patients, their families and carers to digest the vast amount of information they are given.

The group is also involved in the North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal, which is raising money to build a new centre to support people with cancer and other illnesses, and their loved ones. This will be a dedicated space offering a wide range of information and support services to anyone affected by cancer and other illnesses, all within a comfortable and welcoming environment. The appeal has raised £650,000 of its £1.5 million target.

Can you help us improve the quality of cancer care in northern Devon?

The Patient Voice group is looking for more people to join them. They would like to hear from anyone who has previously had treatment for cancer at NDHT and feels comfortable to come back to help with the project, or who is a carer or relative of a former patient. Contact Emma Thoms, clinical matron for cancer services, at

Posted in News.

Last updated: October 15, 2018