Summary of report content
Healthwatch Redbridge, Healthwatch Havering, and Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham held a focus group in March 2019 to gather the views of people using chemotherapy services at Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT) and their carers. This work was requested by the Outer North East London Joint Health Scrutiny Committee. The chemotherapy service was changed in October 2018 without consultation and now provides chemotherapy from the Queens Hospital site in Romford.
Feedback identified a number of key issues including: limited privacy on the ward; staffing levels putting staff under pressure; limited information provided about services, the ward and treatment prior to treatment starting; concerns about parking facilities; the clinic service seeming overloaded; concerns about the appointment booking system; long waits for treatment, medication and blood tests; and concerns when accessing the Accident and Emergency Department. Positive feedback was received from those who had used the Cedar Centre and about the ward staff and volunteers.
The report makes recommendations in the following areas: clinical leads from urgent and emergency care meeting their counterparts in oncology to agree protocols for dealing with cancer patients in A&E; addressing the lack of privacy, cramped space and lack of natural light on the ward; improving access to parking facilities and assessment for patient transport; reviewing the system for booking both oncology and chemotherapy appointments; addressing issues identified by patients and their carers through surveys and questionnaires; reviewing the phlebotomy service; increasing awareness of the Cedar Centre services available; reviewing the types of services being offered to identify why they are not being used by particular community groups; providing people with better information and support in accessing pharmacy services; and reviewing the way patients and carers are involved in the development of the service.