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Cancer patients rate Whittington Hospital among ‘worst in country’

PUBLISHED: 11:16 16 September 2013 | UPDATED: 11:16 16 September 2013

Whittington Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Whittington Hospital. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton

The Whittington Health Trust is among the top ten worst in England for cancer care, a shock new survey reveals.

Macmillan Cancer Support has demanded urgent action to combat poor quality care for patients with cancer at the Whittington Hospital after a survey revealed it was the eighth worst in the country.

Carol Fenton, Macmillan’s General Manager in London said: “It is unacceptable that some cancer patients in London are being let down by hospitals failing to provide crucial support, alongside medical treatment.”

Alarmingly, London health trusts took up nine of the top 10 spots in the “worst performing” league table.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was ranked as the worst in England while Barts Health NHS Trust was ranked second worst for cancer care.

No London hospitals featured in the table showing the top 10 performing organisations which had Gateshead Health NHS Trust North ranked first and East Cheshire NHS Trust second.

Data was taken from NHS England’s release of the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey on August 30.

The survey compares the performance of hospitals across England based on patients’ experiences while being treated at hospital.

It looked at whether patients’ diagnosis and treatment options were explained clearly to them, whether they felt supported in their care and whether they felt they were treated with respect.

Miss Fenton said: “There can be no excuses – especially post-Francis and the situation at the Mid Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust.

“Improvements are very possible. Trusts across London, such as Imperial, are making enormous efforts to improve.

“They are working well with cancer patients and with Macmillan to address the problem. Improvements won’t happen overnight – they take time and rely on continued top-level commitment.

“But we need one pan-London effort. There is no reason why the capital should not have the best cancer outcomes of any major city. Today it falls lamentably short.”

Macmillan has worked closely with London NHS Trusts to improve care in the past year and has helped with training courses and increased patient involvement.

A spokesman for the Whittington said: “We are committed to providing a positive experience for our patients and families.

“As an organisation, we are continually listening and learning from their feedback.

“We will work to ensure the areas where patients feel their experience is less good are urgently addressed. Next year, we plan to have our Macmillan Information Centre open in the main foyer which is aimed at increasing our support for patients.”


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