Redbridge hospital trust ‘among worst in country’ for cancer care

The borough’s hospital trust has been rated among the worst in England for providing adequate care to cancer patients.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge (BHR) University Hospitals NHS Trust was among the 10 lowest performing trusts – above seven other London trusts – for failing to provide adequate care, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity produced a league table this week comparing the performance of hospitals in England based on patients’ experiences.

It also measures whether their diagnosis and treatment options were explained clearly, whether they felt supported in their care, and if they felt they were treated with respect.

The trust’s results showed that 38 per cent of patients said they were asked what name they preferred to be called, compared to 65 per cent in the top performing trusts.

But it performed well when giving written information about the side effects of treatments, scoring 83 per cent.

Macmillan Cancer Support said it has enjoyed a strong partnership with the trust having provided funding for cancer nurse specialists and an on-site benefits advice service.

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It said it will continue to work alongside the trust, which runs King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital, Romford to improve patient experience.

Professor Jane Maher, chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support and clinical oncologist, said: “Hospitals are constantly having to hit targets around cleanliness and safety but not for how you treat a person. This needs to change.

“It is absolutely vital that patient experience is prioritised as it can make such a real difference to how patients recover from gruelling cancer treatment.”

Trust chief executive Averil Dongworth said: “We are working hard to improve the experience of all of our patients.

“Eighty-two per cent of the cancer patients who completed this survey said in answer to one of the questions their care had been very good or excellent.

“We are determined to continue to improve our service until every patient is confident that they have received the best possible care. We are working with service users to continue to improve information for our patients and are training staff so that we can reliably meet all of the Macmillan standards.”