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Nurses praised as patients' cancer treatment experience improves

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Nurses have been praised for their role in improving cancer care after 88% of patients rated their overall care as excellent or very good.

The national cancer patient experience survey showed nearly 100 of the 158 English NHS trusts improved their score in 2011-12 compared with the previous year.

However, there were still significant variations in performance.

While 93% of breast cancer patients were given a clinical nurse specialist’s name, that was true of only 75% of urological cancer patients. While in some trusts as many as 99% of patients were given a specialist nurse’s name, at other trusts it was only 74%.

Overall 91% of patients said their clinical nurse specialist gave them understandable answers to questions most of the time, with only 1% saying they rarely or never did.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “An improved patient experience for cancer patients is fantastic news and I would like to thank those doctors and nurses who have worked tirelessly to improve standards of care.”

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said specialist nurses made a huge contribution to patients with cancer and saved the NHS money.

“Every patient with cancer who needs it should have guaranteed access to one-to-one specialist nursing care,” Mr Carter added.

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