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This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Welsh cancer patients positive about their care

WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Sheena Meredith

27th January 2014 -- The care received by cancer patients in Wales was either excellent or very good according to 89% of patients with only 1% saying care was poor. They'd responded to a ‘ Cancer Patient Experience Survey’ produced by the Welsh Government in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

The survey also found variations in experience between those with different types of cancer and those treated in different hospitals. The Welsh Government says it's committed to addressing this issue to ensure even more patients receive excellent care.

The survey

The Welsh Cancer Patient Experience Survey sought the views of 10,945 patients (aged 16 and over) who had received treatment for cancer. 7,352 questionnaires were completed, a response rate of 69%.

Susan Morris, General Manager Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales says in a press statement: "Macmillan Wales welcomes the results of the Welsh Government’s first national cancer patient experience survey.

"It is fantastic that 89% of the cancer patients who completed the survey said their care was either excellent or very good.

"The survey also highlights areas where improvements are needed including variations between Local Health Boards and the experiences of people with different cancer types.

"It is clear from the survey that health boards have some way to go in fully meeting people’s needs, for example, patients need to be offered more support when their treatment has ended, which is increasingly important as more people are living with or beyond cancer."

Health Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford has thanked those who took part for their feedback and for responding "at what can be a difficult moment in their lives".

In a press release he says: "Whilst the results of this survey are encouraging, every patient deserves the best care, and there are some important areas where further improvement is still needed."


When it came to dignity 85% of respondents said they were always treated with respect and dignity by staff and 87% had confidence and trust in the doctors and nurses caring for them. 81% of patients said they felt they were treated as a whole person and not as a ‘set of symptoms’.

In the coordination of care; 88% of people were given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist who they could contact and 92% said they got understandable answers to important questions all or most of the time from that person.


The survey has also highlighted areas of care which need improvement. It showed some variation between hospital sites and some cancer types. For example those with breast cancer were more positive in their responses than those with sarcoma, lung or urological cancers.

The Government says more action is needed to meet the holistic needs of the patient. Whilst 68% of patients said they had discussed or been given information about the impact of cancer on work or education, only 51% said they had been given information about how to get financial help or benefits by hospital staff.

Best and worst

Among Health Boards the most positively scored services are identified as being at Velindre, Cardiff and the Vale, and Betsi Cadwaladr. The least positively scored services are at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Cwm Taf and Hywel Dda.

The most positive scores at hospital level are at Velindre, Llandough, and Ysbyty Gwynedd. Singleton, Morriston, Glangwili and Royal Glamorgan hospitals are those with the least positive scores as measured against the all-Wales data.

Reviewed on January 27, 2014

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