Wythenshawe Hospital praised by cancer charity for improvements in how it deals with patients

The NHS trust which runs Wythenshawe Hospital has been praised by a leading cancer care charity after it was ranked one of the most improved in the country for patient experience.

The University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked joint second in a league table released by Macmillan Cancer Support, based on research commissioned by NHS England.

The league table compares the performance of hospitals across England based on measures of patients’ experiences while being treated in hospital 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. Macmillan believes patient experience is as vital as treatment to a cancer patient’s quality of life. The survey does not measure medical care.

Fay Scullion, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in the East Midlands and Northern England, said: “We congratulate the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust for coming in as one of the most improved trusts in the country and on the work they have done to achieve this.

“We know that the support and care people receive is as important as their actual treatment, and can make all the difference between coping with cancer and finding it a real struggle. For example, being told about financial help that is available, or being provided with high quality information about their cancer and its treatment.”

In support of patients, Macmillan has launched a new patient rights leaflet. Your Cancer Care provides information about patients’ rights by outlining the eight key behaviours in the Macmillan Values Based Standard. The charter calls for patiens to:

  • Be involved in decisions, be informed of the treatment options and why recommendations have been made
  • Be communicated with in a sensitive way and be offered support. They should also share any concerns about what they are told

Macmillan says all cancer patients should be treated with  dignity and respect, and staff and calls on the government to actively shine a light on poor care and demand hospitals take action to improve by:

  • Publishing a clear comparison of cancer patient experience in hospital trusts across the country.
  • Requiring trusts to publish action plans addressing weaknesses in cancer patient experience and staff engagement, and reporting annually on their progress.
  • Make sure all frontline staff have time to access training to deliver care with dignity and respect. The training would include courses on advanced communication skills to have sensitive conversations with cancer patients, their families and carers.
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