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Benefits of one-to-one cancer care revealed

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.


However other key findings included only 58 per cent of patients said doctors or nurses gave their family or someone close to them all the information they needed to help care for them at home and only 62 per cent reported enough nurses were on duty when they were admitted to hospital.


[quote top=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. [/quote]


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.


Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support said “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.”