Local Hospitals Provide 'Worst Care' For Cancer Patients

Hammersmith and Ealing Hospitals at bottom of national league table

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Hammersmith Hospital provides the worst care for cancer patients in the country according to a league table compiled my Macmillan Cancer Support.

Ealing Hospital also featured amongst the Capital's eight of ten NHS Trusts bottom of a league table measuring patient experience based on Department of Health research.

The league measures patients’ experiences while being treated at hospital, for example: if there were enough nurses on duty; whether they were given enough support from health and social services when they left hospital; whether they were given the right emotional support or told about financial information. It does not cover the medical treatments they received, such as standards of chemotherapy or surgery.

Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support said: "Cancer patients are being let down by many Trusts that are failing to give adequate levels of care. The experiences you have whilst in hospital can have a massive impact on your health and wellbeing and how well you cope once you leave hospital. We hope that the Trusts given a red card will work with community services and take urgent action to improve the care they offer cancer patients."

The Trusts in the bottom 10 (from worst to best): 1) Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (which operates Hammersmith Hospital), 2=) Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, 2=) The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust, 4) Barts and the London NHS Trust, 5=) Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, 5=) The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, 7) Newham University Hospital NHS Trust, 8) Croydon Healthcare NHS Trust (formerly Mayday), 9) Ealing Hospital NHS Trust, 10) Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Philippa, 62, from London said: "As my husband approached death in hospital the support I needed so desperately wasn’t there. I wanted to talk about stopping his suffering but the consultant was very rushed and unapproachable, and then went abroad. Other doctors had little time.

"His final week was awful. The Macmillan nurse we’d had at the start of his treatment had to leave after four months; she’d helped us with all the practical things like pain management, benefits and parking. She’d been the human face of the NHS but when she left there was a huge void of support and information."

Macmillan is calling for the Government to put more focus on improving cancer patient experiences and to provide urgent support to the Trusts with the worst results in its league.


April 27, 2011