‘Better admin’ key factor in patients’ experience of cancer care

Patients twice as likely to be unsatisfied with care if admin is poor

One of the most important factors in people’s overall experience of cancer care is good administration, research suggests.

The analysis of more than 71,000 responses from the 2015 England Cancer Patient Experience, led by the University of Exeter Medical School in collaboration with University College London, found people living with cancer who are not happy with the administration of their care are twice as likely to be unsatisfied overall.

Examples of good administration range from patients receiving letters at the right time to doctors having access to their information.

Alongside good admin, NHS staff working well together was also one of the most important factors.

Patients were twice as likely to say they are not satisfied with their overall care if their cancer team fail to communicate with each other effectively. 

Involvement in decision-making and the patient’s relatives having the correct information needed to help care for them at home were also strongly associated with patient satisfaction.

Jane Maher, joint chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, said for patients who have to repeat information about their diagnosis and treatment or deal with health professionals who are not up-to-date with their records, it adds to an already exhausting time. 

“This research shows the huge impact good admin and communication within, and particularly, between different clinical teams can have on the experiences of cancer patients across England,” she added. “Getting these things right plays a huge role in helping patients find their best way through cancer.”