Health bosses criticised for using jargon in cancer cases

CANCER patients have ranked information handed out by Doncaster Royal Infirmary medics as among the worst in the country.

According to a NHS survey Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust received good marks in the majority of areas.

However, patients criticised written information they received, placing it in the bottom 20 per cent nationally.

Among the factors criticised were that letters were difficult to understand, did not include warnings about possible side effects or advice on support groups or financial help. A lack of information about patients’ conditions and treatment was also poor.

The trust was rated as average or good in 68 of the 73 areas in the National Cancer Survey 2010 – the equivalent of 93 per cent.

There were 12 areas where the trust’s services were rated better than average, including patients being seen as soon as necessary, patients completely understanding explanations, patients getting understandable answers to important questions, receiving privacy and giving patients understandable explanations of how operations had gone.

Ian Greenwood, the trust’s lead for cancer services, said: “We provide excellent services for patients with cancer – and now patients have confirmed this.

“Clearly, there are some areas where we need to do better. We use this feedback to help us make further improvements.”

There were 158 acute hospital NHS Trusts taking part in the survey. It included all adults with a diagnosis of cancer, who had been admitted to an NHS hospital as an in-patient or as a day case, and had been discharged between January 1 and March 31 last year. In the Doncaster area, 312 out of 522 patients selected responded.