An estimated 10,000 cancer patients a year are given the wrong drugs in hospital, according to new research commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support.
The YouGov survey of 2,142 UK adults living with cancer revealed that 6% of the estimated 170,000 cancer patients in England admitted to hospital each year say they were given the incorrect medication.
Meanwhile, 7% of the respondents - equating to 12,000 cancer patients in England each year - said they felt like dropping out of their treatment programme early due to the way they were dealt with by hospital staff.
More than one in three (37%) cancer patients said their hospital room or area was not kept clean and tidy at all times.
Of the cancer patients who required extra food, a third said they never received it.
Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive Ciarán Devane acknowledged that “most cancer patients get great care most of the time” but said it is “alarming” that so many are given the wrong drugs, are not given enough food or have considered cutting short their treatment due to their interactions with hospital staff.
Citing the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust scandal, he added: “This survey sheds a worrying light on the subculture within some parts of the NHS where bad patient experience is acceptable.”
He called on NHS staff to be given the “time and space” and the “tools” to be able to deliver true patient care.
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