BREAST cancer patients have encouraged Basingstoke hospital to take a pledge to improve its services.
Staff at the hospital’s breast cancer unit asked them about making its services better, as part of an initiative by charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
And the survey revealed that patients wanted better communication and information.
Patient representative Lynne Oakley, 44, said: “Patents need to be able to tell them what we want rather than be told what is available.”
Miss Oakley, a mother-of-two from Pershore Road, in Popley, was diagnosed with cancer in February 2008 and has undergone a mastectomy, breast reconstruction and chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the unit in Basingstoke hospital.
She said: “It is about improving simple things,”
The “service pledge” outlines the patient’s suggestions.
They include: - Improving information available to patients, including using a |receptionist at each clinic - Offering a copy of their GP’s |letter and using a photo board |displaying members of staff - Improving the patient area, increasing the areas to display |information - Making follow-up appointments when given a surgery date - Ensuring there is a single sex accommodation for patients and clear signposted male and female toilets.
The hospital has vowed to meet all these needs – apart from the single sex wards – by the end of July 2010.
Ian Beckett, who is a male breast cancer patient at the ward, said: “Information has always been a big thing since I had cancer.
“For instance when you are waiting – which is a way of life when you have cancer – you need to know what is happening.”
The 55-year-old engineer, from Four Marks, near Alton, said it was important to be given a follow-up appointment when discharged.
He said: “You want to know you are still in the system.”
The hospital’s medical director Andrew Bishop said: “We are always struggling to find ways to respond to patients’ needs, so the survey and pledge is an exciting way of doing business.”
The initiative has the backing of Basingstoke MP Maria Miller, who attended the launch.
She said: “The pledge will ensure local men and women have a real voice and that hospitals are working towards high standards of care.”