A first-of-its-kind report surveying over 3,700 people in NSW cancer outpatient clinics highlights the high level of care across the state.
The Patient Perspectives Report, released today by the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) and the Cancer Institute NSW, shows almost everyone would rate their care favourably.
People also recognised the level of respect they receive during care, and would be likely to speak highly of their outpatient cancer clinic to others.
Taking place across February and March, 2015, the report surveyed 3,706 people in select clinics statewide with the goal of improving the care received in outpatient cancer clinics.
BHI Chief Executive, Dr Jean-Frederic Levesque, said patients were very positive about the care they received.
“The report shows 92 per cent of patients said they would speak highly of the clinic to their friends and family,” Dr Levesque said.
Additionally, it highlights 99 per cent of people undergoing cancer treatment are reporting good or very good care, with 83 per cent identifying the latter.
“Patients also feel they are being treated with dignity and respect, which is an important aspect of their care.”
Visit the Bureau of Health Information for a further breakdown of the key findings and hospitals and health districts involved.
Read the full report – Patient Perspectives: How do outpatients cancer clinics perform?
Who uses outpatient cancer clinics?
Outpatient cancer clinics are specialist oncology and chemotherapy clinics operated by public hospitals for patients with cancer.
People can attend cancer clinics for a variety of reasons, including diagnosis, treatment or monitoring.
Professor David Currow, Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, says we now have a first hand insight into the experiences of these people with cancer across the state.
“This information is vital to help us improve cancer services and further ensure people with cancer receive timely and appropriate care, support and information.”
Where can we improve?
Giving a voice to people with cancer in NSW highlights the overall performance of hospitals and local health districts.
“Whilst this report paints a largely positive picture of the experiences of people with cancer in the NSW health system, it also offers us the opportunity to identify what we can do better,” Professor Currow said.
“It’s reported by those people who matter most: our patients.”
He said the report provides new insights into the severity of patients’ symptoms, such as anxiety and tiredness, and how they can be used to reflect on clinic performance in NSW.
“Control of symptoms and supporting people in managing their illness are integral parts of good quality care and the report shows that this performance varies widely across NSW and clinics,” he said.
“The Cancer Institute NSW will be working with local cancer services to address the findings of the report and help improve the care of patients with cancer.”
The survey shows only three-quarters of patients said they were definitely involved in decisions about their care and treatment as much as they wanted to be.
Additionally, under half (47 per cent) said they were definitely asked for their ideas and preferences when developing their cancer care plan.
Almost half of all patients had out-of-pocket expenses in relation to their visit, with parking, travel and medication reported most commonly.