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Question for Department of Health

UIN 215145, tabled on 19 November 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps (a) his Department and (b) NHS England is taking to improve the experience of cancer patients from ethnic minorities; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

26 November 2014

Cancer patients are increasingly positive about their care, with 89% rating it as excellent or very good, and this comes as the National Health Service treats more patients for cancer than ever before. The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey results in 2014 show in over half the questions asked, compared to the 2010 survey, patients reporting positively on areas, including feeling they were given enough information, being offered a range of treatment options and being treated with respect and dignity. Where they are telling us we need to do better it is important that swift action is taken and NHS trusts and commissioners must reflect on their results and take action as appropriate.

NHS England is working with NHS Improving Quality and Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure that improvement work is supported by spreading good practice across hospitals providing care in a drive to reduce national variation in patients’ experience of care and raise overall standards, including in London. This includes the experience of care for black and minority ethnic (BME) patients and vulnerable groups.

The Cancer Patient Experience Advisory Group, at its January meeting, will discuss priorities for improvement in cancer patient experience, including for BME patients.