Patients at The Christie have scored Manchester’s internationally acclaimed cancer centre very highly for being treated with respect and dignity, a survey has found.

In the national inpatient survey 2019-2020, 649 patients who responded, scored The Christie as 9.5 out of 10 overall for being treated with respect and dignity. And when patients were asked ‘Did doctors talk in front of you as if you weren’t there’ The Christie’s score of 9.4 out of 10 was one of the best in England for this key measure of the respect that doctors show to their patients.

The survey found that The Christie was one of just nine out of 143 trusts in England to be categorised within the highest band, identified as ‘Much better than expected’. With results that indicate the patient experience of these trusts was substantially better than most other trusts. The Christie was also one of only seven trusts nationally to have been consistently categorised as ‘Much better than expected’ for three consecutive years.

Overall, inpatients (those who had an overnight stay in the hospital) scored their experience of The Christie as 8.8 out of 10.

The national inpatient survey published by the health regulator, the Care Quality Commission consists of 61 questions in 11 different categories.

The Christie was rated ‘better’ than most other trusts in all but one section of the survey and received a highest score in England for the section score in relation to ‘Waiting list or planned admission’.

The Christie was ranked in the ‘better’ than most other trusts’ category in 41 of the 61 questions (67%), ‘about the same’ for 20 questions and no questions were ‘worse than most other trusts’.

Some high scoring areas for The Christie were:

  • enough privacy when being examined or treated (9.7 out of 10)
  • getting enough to drink (9.7/10)
  • confidence and trust in the doctors treating you (9.5/10)
  • the length of time you were on the waiting list (9.5/10)
  • information about your condition or treatment (9.5/10)
  • feeling well looked after by the non-clinical hospital staff (9.5/10)
  • the cleanliness of the hospital room or ward that you were in (9.4/10) 

Sefton Kwasnik from Knutsford spent three days as an inpatient at The Christie in July last year having robotic surgery for prostate cancer. He said: “I’ve always felt the doctors and all the staff at The Christie treat me with the utmost respect and dignity. It is no surprise at all that the patients in this survey have scored The Christie so highly in so many of the factors that are most important to patients. The hospital is very clean, the food is great, I feel well informed and I always feel safe and cared for by the staff. All the staff from cleaners to consultants were extremely caring and helpful.”

Christie Chief Executive, Roger Spencer added: “Patients are at the heart of everything we do at The Christie and I want to thank our patients for once again showing their confidence in us.

“Our staff are tireless in their efforts to provide a high quality hospital environment and the highest standards of care and treatment for patients. Although this survey took place last year we have been working diligently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that essential cancer treatment continues and that the hospital is a safe place for all our patients.”

Now in its 17th year, the survey shows how NHS trusts in England score against each other by looking at different aspects of the inpatient experience including the hospital and ward, doctors and nurses, care and treatment, operations and procedures, and respect and dignity.

The survey provided some useful feedback and the need to do further work to improve perceptions of hospital food, communicating clearly with patients and supporting patients who are being discharged.

The questionnaire was sent to 1,156 patients of The Christie who had a stay of at least one night and were discharged between April and July 2019.

The survey can be found on the CQC website where you can also see the national outliers report

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.