HEALTHCARE services for cancer patients in Northumberland have been rated among the best nationwide for the third year running.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been named in the top-ten best-performing trusts in England for its care experience.
The ranking has come in the latest National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, which is informed by the views of 116,000 people in all 155 NHS trusts that offer cancer treatment.
It measures their experience of being treated in hospital, including whether they felt involved in decisions about their care, their confidence in the doctors and nurses treating them and whether they were treated with privacy, dignity and respect.
Northumbria Healthcare Lead Cancer Nurse Gill Starkey said: “Providing patients with first-class care is at the very heart of what our frontline teams deliver every day across Northumberland and North Tyneside and it’s fantastic news that patients with cancer who we’ve looked after have given us such excellent and consistent feedback over the past three years.
“Our specialist teams do an excellent job caring for patients at what is a particularly distressing time and these results are a reflection of their hard work, commitment and compassion.
“I would like to thank each and every one of them for their exceptional work.”
The trust provides specialist care to hundreds of patients in hospital, the community and at home every day.
There are dedicated oncology units at Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham general hospitals and Berwick Infirmary, with plans to open a unit at Alnwick next year.
One of those praising the trust’s care is patient Brian Hedley, from Morpeth, who was treated for bowel cancer.
He was so impressed by the hospital staff that he shared his story with Patient Opinion, a national organisation that encourages people to give feedback about health services.
He said: “I cannot thank the staff at Wansbeck General Hospital enough. Right from the moment I was diagnosed, the level of support, commitment and professionalism from every member of the team has been, and continues to be, outstanding.”
NHS England National Clinical Director for Cancer Sean Duffy said: “This survey allows people who have been diagnosed with cancer to provide feedback on the care and treatment that they have received and I am heartened to see that so many patients had a good experience of their care. While the results of this survey are very encouraging, every patient deserves the best experience they can have of care and that is what we shall be working on for future.”