Cancer Support Yorkshire HQ in Bradford was the venue for a Patient Experience Action Planning meeting organised in partnership with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and chaired by Trust Lead Cancer Nurse Amanda Procter.

Cancer patients joined health professionals from Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke's Hospital, including clinical nurse specialists from a range of cancer services and colleagues from other hospital specialties including pharmacy and clinical psychology; representatives of Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Support Yorkshire, and other voluntary sector organisations at the event on 23rd April.

The purpose of the session was to begin work on an action plan to address the issues raised in the national Cancer Experience Patient Survey (CPES), and subsequent focus group discussions which were organised by Quality Health, the organisation which has run the survey since 2010.

Among the issues discussed and potential solutions were:

Suggestions for tackling perceived delays in discharge from hospital caused by 'waiting for pharmacy' - see below.

The scope for improved communication throughout the patient journey, including the 'breaking bad news' element of a cancer diagnosis; greater opportunity to discuss discharge information before leaving hospital and increased use of plain English.

Consistent sharing of information about parking access and fees.

Ways of supporting patients to access formal and informal peer support, particularly in the community, and the role of volunteers in that work.

Pharmacist Philip Moore, pictured right, attended the session to explain the work of the hospital pharmacy team in preparing medication for cancer patients, and in particular the complex process of prescribing and processing chemotherapy, which often involves a number of different departments.

Patients put forward a number of interesting suggestions, including how appropriate volunteers - including pharmacy students - could potentially be recruited to assist in elements of the work.

Trust Lead Cancer Nurse Amanda Procter, pictured left, centre, will now take the outcomes from the meeting for consideration by the Trust Cancer Board and will feedback to the group in due course.