News

Cancer survey: People from BME backgrounds urged to share experiences of NHS services

NHS say patient response crucial to drive even more improvements and a better, more representative picture of the care being provided
BME survey

NHS say patient response crucial to drive even more improvements and a better, more representative picture of the care being provided

Patients from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds are being urged to help improve cancer care in England by sharing their experiences.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is concerned only half of all BME people with cancer responded to NHS England's most recent National Cancer Experience Survey.

There are fears the lack of BME insight means the annual survey does not paint a full and accurate picture of cancer services.

Of people from all backgrounds who responded to the 2016 survey, 87.5% said they had cancer tests on time, while 90% reported they were given the name of a clinical nurse specialist

NHS say patient response crucial to drive even more improvements and a better, more representative picture of the care being provided

Patients from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds are being urged to help improve cancer care in England by sharing their experiences.


The NHS has launched a week of actitivities to directly target
75,000 people from BME communities. Picture: iStock

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is concerned only half of all BME people with cancer responded to NHS England's most recent National Cancer Experience Survey.

There are fears the lack of BME insight means the annual survey does not paint a full and accurate picture of cancer services.

Of people from all backgrounds who responded to the 2016 survey, 87.5% said they had cancer tests on time, while 90% reported they were given the name of a clinical nurse specialist who supported them through their treatment.

Poorer experience for people from BME background

However, people from a BME background who did respond to this survey reported a poorer experience compared to white British people.

NHS research suggests communication and language, taboos and stigma about cancer, concern about security of personal information and cynicism about feedback making a difference are key factors in BME patients’ reluctance.

In response it has launched a week of activities to directly target 75,000 people from BME communities who were selected to take part, but failed to respond to the survey.

‘Responses are crucial’

It will aim to reassure people about data security as well as provide access to translators.

Speaking at the Economist’s War on Cancer event Mr Stevens is expected to say: ‘Responses from patients are crucial to drive even more improvements, but we need a better, more representative picture of the care which is being provided.’

NHS England board member Lord Victor Adebowale added: ‘The NHS needs to know more about the experience of BME  people who have cancer treatment in order to ensure services understand their needs.’


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs