Help and support

You have been invited to take part in the survey

All adult patients (aged 16 and over), with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who have been admitted to hospital as inpatients for cancer related treatment, or who were seen as day case patients for cancer related treatment, and have been discharged between April and June each year will be included in the survey.
No, if you do not want to take part, please return the blank questionnaire. You do not need to use a stamp. If you prefer, please email Picker (cpes@pickereurope.ac.uk) or call the helpline number on the covering letter and Picker will remove you from the current survey mailing list.
Yes, that’s fine. You are able to get help from a family member or friend if you need help to complete the questionnaire. However the answers should be given from your point of view- not the point of view of the person helping you to complete the survey. Picker also provides a Freephone helpline where call advisors are available to complete the survey with you over the telephone (please refer to the covering letter that came with the questionnaire, for information).
Your personal details and some information about your cancer treatment have been used to identify you for this survey and will be used to analyse the results. These details were provided by the NHS trust that treated you. The details have been shared with Picker, who are carrying out the survey on behalf of NHS England. Under data protection legislation NHS England is the controller responsible for the processing of your personal data to conduct the survey. Your personal information will be handled securely, and the results published will not identify you. Section 251 approval is provided by the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) at the Health Research Agency (HRA) ahead of any personal information being shared by NHS trusts with Picker. The Section 251 approval allows your details to be shared without your consent. Each questionnaire has a unique number which is used by Picker to identify who has responded to the survey, and to send reminders to those who have not.
Picker takes its information security responsibilities very seriously and applies various precautions to ensure your information is protected at all times from loss, theft or misuse. Security precautions include appropriate physical security of offices and controlled and limited access to computer systems. Stringent measures have been taken to ensure personal information is securely stored and seen only by the personnel directly involved in the survey. Picker has regular internal and external audits of its information security controls and working practices, and is accredited to the International Standard for Information Security, ISO 27001. For information about how NHS England uses personal data and how you can contact us and invoke your rights as a data subject, please see our privacy notice: https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/privacy-notice/. You can obtain a copy of this by contacting our Customer Contact Centre: Telephone: 0300 311 22 33; Email: england.contactus@nhs.net; Post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the NHS England Insight & Feedback team: england.insight-queries@nhs.net. If you have any questions relating to data protection, please contact the NHS England’s Data Protection Office: england.dpo@nhs.net. You have the right to make a complaint against NHS England regarding data protection issues with the Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/.
Your answers are put together with the answers from other people who take part. Nobody will be able to identify you in any results that are published. The results will be published on this website. The results are used to help understand and improve people's experiences of cancer care services.

You are a NHS provider running the survey

The purpose of collecting and analysing data via this survey is to:
  • Secure continuous improvement by building on the results of previous surveys and enable local providers and Cancer Alliances to assess their performance improvement with other providers.
  • Enable commissioners to assess local improvements in cancer patient experience.
  • Provide NHS England and NHS Improvement with an up to date overview of cancer patient experience across England.
  • Enable patients to make informed choices about where to go for cancer treatment.
  • Provide NHS England and NHS Improvement with an up to date overview of cancer patient experience variation across England.
This collection is mandated for all adult acute cancer services. NHS foundation trusts are mandated under schedule 6 of their Terms of Authorisation.
The survey will cover all acute and specialist NHS trusts in England that provide adult acute cancer services. All adult patients (aged 16 and over), with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who have been admitted to hospital as inpatients for cancer related treatment, or who were seen as day case patients for cancer related treatment, and have been discharged between April and June each year will be included in the survey.
Aside from the national importance of this survey, there are important direct benefits for your trust in taking part:
  • You will receive a bespoke report, where over 20 responses are received, on your trust’s cancer patients’ experience, broken down by cancer type grouping.
  • You will be able to benchmark your cancer services within your trust and nationally.
  • You will receive a free-text report providing automated semantic and sentiment analysis of written comments received as part of the survey.
  • The results will help your trust to meet the requirement to measure patient experience as set out in the Peer Review Measures for Cancer.
  • The results could help your trust to populate the Quality Accounts.
  • The results will help inform the commissioning of local services by clinical commissioning groups.
Following the same process as in previous years, the trust will be asked to put together the list of names of patients that have been treated for cancer and remove the names of any patients who have died or have not been told about a confirmed diagnosis. Carefully tested instructions will be provided, and Picker will provide telephone support as and when it is needed. Trusts will be required to respond to and queries Picker may have regarding their patient list within 2 working days. This is to reduce any delays in approval. All other survey work, including removal of duplicates, DBS checks, printing and posting survey packets and reminders, data entry and producing reports, will be carried out by Picker. Picker will work with NHS trusts to arrange appropriate data security agreements. It would be very helpful if trusts could please:
  • Attend one of the webinars being held in August.
  • Confirm the expected date of submitting your patient list when prompted by Picker.
  • Encourage your cancer leads to support this survey.
  • Ensure your patient list is submitted within plenty of time to be approved by the start of fieldwork
  • Ensure your Information Systems teams respond to data queries from Picker within 2 days.
  • Commit to using the survey results to drive further improvement.
NHS England and NHS Improvement’s lawful basis for carrying out the survey is covered as a ‘public task’ under Article 6(1)(e). This provides a lawful basis for processing personal data where: “…processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller”. In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s lawful basis for using special category (health) data to carry out the data is covered under Article 9(2)(h): “9(2)(h) processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services on the basis of Union or Member State law or pursuant to contract with a health professional and subject to the conditions and safeguards referred to in paragraph 3…”
No. The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that the survey is exempt from the National Data Guardian opt-out. Therefore, NDG opt outs should not be applied to the cancer patient experience survey.
Yes, patients have always been able to opt out of the survey and this still applies. Patients can opt out of the survey ahead of their details being shared with the survey contractor. They can do this by responding to the fair processing notice presented by the trust. Trusts should keep records of those who have opted out ahead of the survey sample being drawn and ensure that those patients are not included in the sample submitted to the survey contractor. In addition, the survey covering letter, first and second reminder letter, and questionnaire front cover will emphasise that participation in the survey is entirely voluntary and provide details of how to opt out of the survey. Patients will be provided with contact details of the survey contractor to allow them to opt out of the survey. Should patients contact the trust and ask to be opted out of the survey instead, please notify Picker. Please note that patient opt outs of the cancer registry held by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service are not applied to the survey.
It is not practicable to seek patient consent before sending out surveys. Therefore, ahead of contacting trusts to share patient data for the purposes of the survey, NHS England and Picker ensure that Section 251 approval is in place. We therefore do not consider that consent is required to include patients in the survey. However, patients must be given the opportunity to opt-out, and this is achieved via fair processing notices displayed in areas where people receive cancer care.
Picker takes its information security responsibilities very seriously and applies various precautions to ensure personal information is protected at all times from loss, theft or misuse. Security precautions include appropriate physical security of offices and controlled and limited access to computer systems. Stringent measures have been taken to ensure personal information is securely stored and seen only by the personnel directly involved in the survey. Picker has regular internal and external audits of its information security controls and working practices, and is accredited to the International Standard for Information Security, ISO 27001. Picker are compliant with the Data Security and Protection Toolkit which enables organisations to demonstrate that the way they hold and process information meets information governance policies and standards. The NHS trust must take steps to ensure that patient personal data shared with Picker is done in a secure way by following the guidance provided by Picker to compile and share your patient sample (available in the sampling handbook/guidance manual).