Patient experience

A person’s experience of their care can be just as important as the result of their treatment.

One in five people living with cancer say that they feel treated as a set of symptoms rather than being recognised as a person. We don’t think that is good enough. We think that a person’s experience of their care can be just as important as the result of their treatment.

That is why we are calling on Governments and the NHS across the UK to recognise the importance of patient experience at a national level and are working with commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals on the ground to support them in improving how people experience their cancer care.


The Independent Cancer Strategy Taskforce recognised that how someone experiences their care can be just as important as the result of their treatment. We want to see this become a reality for patients on the ground. To do this, a key first step is finding a way to measure patient experience. NHS England then can use that information to identify areas of best practice as well as areas where more support is needed.

We are working with NHS England to help develop a way of measuring patient experience that can accurately reflect how people experience their care and can be used to drive year on year improvement for all cancer patients.



The results of the first ever cancer patient experience survey in Scotland were published in June 2016. The most interesting finding from the survey, commissioned jointly by Macmillan and the Scottish Government, was that patients who have a care plan had a markedly better experience than those who didn’t, on every single measure surveyed. The results will help inform a range of actions being taken forward under the new cancer plan.

In addition, we have successfully lobbied to ensure that the survey is repeated regularly like in the rest of the UK, so that we can use the results to drive up the patient experience across Scotland.

Access to a cancer nurse specialist and an holistic needs assessment are a must if we are to drive up the quality of experience people face when they are diagnosed with cancer.


Wales / Cymru

The Wales Cancer Patient Experience survey has provided a rich source of evidence for Macmillan and other stakeholders in demonstrating the issues facing cancer patients in Wales. With the survey being repeated in 2016, we know that this will add extra depth and update this resource further.

We passionately believe that patient experience should be at the heart of national caner policy and strategy and will continue to use this evidence base to help inform our key partners in the NHS and Welsh Government.

Profiad Cleifion

Mae arolwg Profiad Cleifion Canser Cymru wedi bod yn ffynhonnell gyfoethog o dystiolaeth i Macmillan a rhanddeiliaid eraill yn dangos y materion y mae cleifion canser yng Nghymru’n eu hwynebu. Gan fod yr arolwg yn cael ei ailadrodd yn 2016, gwyddom y bydd hyn yn rhoi mwy o ddyfnder i’r adnodd hwn ac yn ei wneud yn fwy diweddar.

Credwn yn gryf y dylai profiad cleifion fod wrth wraidd polisi a strategaeth genedlaethol canser a byddwn yn parhau i ddefnyddio’r sail dystiolaeth hon i hysbysu ein partneriaid allweddol yn y GIG a Llywodraeth Cymru.


Northern Ireland

The first Cancer Patient Experience Survey (CPES) in Northern Ireland took place in 2015. Patients reported some of the best overall scores in the UK, but inconsistencies mean there is still room for improvement. We want CPES to be repeated and used to drive better patient experience across Northern Ireland’s five Health and Social Care Trusts.