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Benefits of one-to-one cancer care revealed

Benefits of one-to-one cancer care revealed

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 10 December 2010

One of the largest surveys of cancer patient experience sets out a roadmap for how the NHS can meet their needs, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced today.

The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, one of the largest surveys of cancer patient experience, heard from 67,713 patients with a whole range of cancers. It reveals that 84 per cent of those who had received one to one support had significantly higher rates of satisfaction across all aspects of their care.

But other key findings include:

only 58 per cent said doctors or nurses gave their family or someone close to them all the information they needed to help care for them at home;68 per cent pf patients said their appointments started within 30 minutes of their appointment time at their last outpatient appointment with a cancer doctor;50 per cent who said it was necessary had received information about financial help; and62 per cent reported enough nurses were on duty when they were admitted to hospital.

Care Service Minister Paul Burstow said:

“Effective cancer care isn’t just about clinical evidence, we must also listen and learn from people affected by cancer.

“More can be done for those with cancer. The Coalition Government's aim is simple - to get cancer survival rates up there with the best in the world. To do this we need to make the best possible use of the resources available.

“That is why in less than six months, the Coalition Government has set in motion a raft of measures to accelerate progress including an early signs and symptoms awareness campaign that will launch in January, more money for screening and investing in cutting edge therapies.

“These studies provide the NHS with an essential insight into the views and experience of patients. It is a powerful tool for improving services.

An independent economic study, commissioned by the Department of Health entitled One to one support for cancer patients, has also been published today. The study looked at seven cancers and found that offering one-to-one support for cancer patients could save the NHS around £89 million by improving care and reducing unnecessary hospital stays and GP visits.

The analysis provides evidence for the potential benefits that investment in one to one support posts can achieve and has been backed by Macmillan Cancer Support who will invest £300 million to support the NHS in creating up to 2,700 support roles in hospitals and the community over the next decade.

The results come as the local NHS have been given increasing resources for cancer services – and should provide a solid evidence base for decision making on how to develop local cancer services to improve outcomes.

Paul Burstow added:

“Many patients are already benefiting from access to specialist nursing but more can be done. I am really pleased that Macmillan will help the NHS to provide this specialised service. And NHS commissioners have the rising resources from which they can make the decision to increase one to one support.

“Finding from these studies will be fed into the Department of Health’s updated cancer strategy that is due to be published in the new year.”

Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support says:

“People affected by cancer continually tell us that having one-to-one support makes an enormous difference to their cancer experience, especially once treatment finishes. This research now also proves that this type of support can save the NHS money and improve patient care.

“Macmillan improves the lives of people affected by cancer and we have committed to sustaining our funding of specific support for cancer patients both during treatment and in aftercare.”

NHS Trust level reports from the Cancer Patient Experience Survey will be published in the new year.

Notes to Editors

1. For further information contact the Department of Health newsdesk on 020 7210 5221

2. Macmillan Cancer Support has today announced that it will invest up to £300 million to pump prime additional one to one support posts over the next seven to 10 years. For further information on this investment contact Macmillan’s press office on 020 7840 7821

3. The Department of Health commissioned Frontier Economics to model the cost effectiveness of one to one support. Macmillan, CLIC Sargent and the Teenage Cancer Trust have all contributed to this work.

4. The analysis, commissioned by the Department of Health, looked at the different models for providing one-to-one support across seven cancers, including the use of Clinical Nurse Specialists and care co-ordinator roles, and found they had the potential to improve care and reduce unnecessary hospital stays and GP visits. While one to one support for cancer patients is generally good during diagnosis and treatment, evidence suggests that not all cancer patients have access to support following treatment or if their cancer spreads.

5. The Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2010 and the Frontier Economics report, One to one support for cancer patients, are available at


Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221

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