Patient experience of cancer support services in Walsall

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Walsall (Healthwatch) is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in your local area, delivered by Engaging Communities Staffordshire. After being diagnosed with cancer, accessing timely treatment is important to the patient. Access and signposting to non-clinical support services is also an important part of the patient journey. The aim of this survey was to speak to at least 100 patients and survivors to identify if they had been informed about additional support services, whether they accessed these services and how they found this experience. 118 surveys were completed in total. The majority of people Healthwatch spoke to were happy with the support services that they received through a number of stakeholders, though not everyone was offered support. More recent service changes and improvements have resulted in people being offered more support, which should be commended. However, communication between patients and clinicians was highlighted by some people who said it needs to be more timely and reassuring to the patient. Additionally, research we have undertaken and confirmed by individual patient experiences has highlighted that Walsall has a higher rate of late diagnosis for cancer when compared to the wider West Midlands area. Based on patients experiences and comments that we have received and from an analysis of the data we make the following recommendations: Continue to invest in effective support and signposting services such as Walsall Palliative Care Centre, Macmillan Hub and through a designated Lead Cancer Nurse. The levels of people accessing support services should be monitored and actions taken where there is poor uptake. A robust action plan needs developing by Walsall CCG and key stakeholders such as Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust to identify why patients are not coming forward early enough with symptoms of cancer. Improved communication with patients regarding updates, treatment, status and care plans to be developed and co-designed by patients and survivors and their families and carers. Better administration and management of appointments for treatment to reduce waiting times and cancellations. There needs to be a benchmark created of the current arrangements and an action plan created to address the issues and presented to the Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny who can then monitor the actions and resulting improvements in administration of appointments for treatment.

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General details

Report title 
Patient experience of cancer support services in Walsall
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Walsall
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 1 May, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 May, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 1 May, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Cancer services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.