CPES is a national annual survey designed to monitor national progress on cancer care; to provide information to drive local quality improvements; to assist commissioners and providers of cancer care; and to inform the work of the various charities and stakeholder groups supporting cancer patients.
Around 70,000 patients respond to the survey each year, answering questions on a range of experiences related to their care, such as how long they have had to wait before first seeing a hospital doctor, or how clearly they felt the results of tests were explained to them.
Responding to the new findings, Clare Laxton, Associate Director of Policy and Influencing at CLIC Sargent, said:
“The Cancer Patient Experience Survey is a great opportunity for cancer patients to share their experiences and to identify areas for improvement and shape future policy. The problem is that opportunities for improvement are being missed because we know many young voices are not being heard."
“The survey is for over 16s so children’s voices are not heard at all and there is a low and ever-decreasing response rate of young cancer patients between 16-24 leaving the experiences of this group unheard, and key questions unanswered about their experience of cancer care. 216 young people responded to the survey which continues the trend of a falling response rate – from a high of 442 in 2010 to 242 last year to an even lower 216 for the 2017 survey.
“The experience of cancer patients in England (all ages) continues to be generally very positive. However there is definite room for improvement in many areas such as the amount of times young people see a GP before going to hospital, communication between doctors and young people really understanding the explanation of what was wrong with them and the length of time waiting for appointments
“At CLIC Sargent we are determined to push forward through working with NHS England to help address these issues so that the voices of children and young cancer patients are heard.”