‘Excellent’ cancer services lead to trust being chosen as a buddy

Posted on in Services, The trust

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation trust is today among the first to be part of a pioneering ‘‘buddy scheme’ to help other NHS trusts in England to improve cancer patients’ experience of care.

In the most recent national cancer patient experience survey, the trust had its best ever results, with nine out of ten cancer patients rating their care at The James Cook University Hospital and Friarage Hospital as “very good” or “excellent” with some departments achieving 100% patient satisfaction in a number of areas.

Now after being ranked one of the most highly rated trusts in England by patients, we will be mentoring University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, which volunteered to take part in the initiative, over the coming months to help them learn from what we do and help to improve their patients’ experience of care.

The buddy scheme is being run by NHS Improving Quality – the national NHS improvement organisation – with the aim to spread and accelerate innovative practice via peer to peer support and learning.

It is hoped this will lead to a reduction in national variation in cancer patients’ experiences. All the trusts involved have volunteered to take part in the improvement programme.

Nicky Hand, Macmillan lead cancer nurse at the trust said: “We’re really pleased to be part of this important project and are looking forward to working with Bristol. It’s about learning from each other and I’m sure both sides will learn a lot from this experience.”

We are now beginning to work with Bristol, with support from NHS Improving Quality, to develop improvement plans specific to their individual needs. These plans will be implemented between February and July 2015. At the end of the scheme, an evaluation will be carried out to measure the impact of the improvement plans with a report published towards the end of the year.

Jane Whittome, Head of NHS Improving Quality’s Experience of Care programme said, “All the trusts taking part in the buddy scheme – on both sides – are demonstrating an outstanding commitment to improving cancer patients’ experience of care.

“They clearly recognise the opportunity to work with peers in order to share learning join a learning community in order to implement change and spread innovative practice.

“This pioneering buddy scheme that we’re launching today will see trusts benefit from the experience of those trusts that were identified by cancer patients as offering the best experience of care. It is important that where we know we can improve NHS services, we do everything we can to help organisations to make that happen in a supportive, not punitive, way.

“This scheme is another great example of NHS Improving Quality’s practical on-the-ground improvement projects. I’m looking forward to evaluating the impact of the programme later this year.”