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London cancer treatment 'poor'

A cancer charity is calling for urgent action to improve cancer care in London, after a damning survey of patient experiences. Nine out of ten of the worst-rated NHS hospital trusts in England were in the capital.

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NHS England: 'care not always as good as it should be'

Caroline Alexander, Chief Nurse for NHS England (London Region), said:

"It was disappointing to read the Cancer Patient Experience Survey results for London. There are areas of excellence in the capital but we know that the quality of care experienced by cancer patients can vary and is not always as good as it should be.

"We do well in treating the illness, but often fall short in caring for the individual and giving patients and their families the support that they need. To address this, cancer doctors and nurses across London have joined together in two Integrated Cancer Systems (ICS').

"This will save lives and drive up the standards of care received. We have already seen excellent examples of collaborations across both ICS', as Macmillan have highlighted, including better psychological and emotional support for patients and their families. The results from this year's survey do not necessarily capture some of the good work that has taken place as we know that measuring the benefits of service improvements can take time.

"However, we recognise that more needs to be done to improve services, including faster access to diagnostic services to increase early detection of cancer. NHS England (London) and the two Integrated Cancer Systems are working to improving care for people in London and it is important that we continue look at how we can change services across the system so that services work better for patients - rather than patients having to work around hospitals."

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