26 October 2015
The results of the first ever Northern Ireland Cancer Patient Experience Survey have been published – and they make for pretty positive reading.
The 2014-15 Cancer Patient Experience Survey (CPES) was issued to over 5,000 adult patients in active treatment for cancer in Northern Ireland. The survey asked 79 questions covering the whole pathway of care. Over 3,200 patients responded and in many responses gave higher scores than hospital inpatients in the wider UK context.
More than nine out of ten respondents (92%) in Northern Ireland said that their overall care was excellent or very good. By comparison in England, when the survey was undertaken in 2014 this figure was a little lower at 89%.
Whilst the results were mostly positive, there were however a number of areas for which the experience of patients fell below the optimum level and there may be opportunities for service improvements. One area which patients felt there was room for improvement was being given the name of a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
Speaking about the findings, Heather Monteverde, Head of Macmillan Services in Northern Ireland, said: 'The message from patients is clear: they value the support of a Clinical Nurse Specialist, who is their key contact throughout treatment. Having a CNS is the single most important factor associated with high patient scores. We need to improve access to clinical nurse specialists for everyone diagnosed with cancer – no matter where they live, how old they are, or what type of cancer they have.'