Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey – 2015/16

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

A survey of almost 5,000 cancer patients has found that the majority of cancer patients report a positive experience of their care.

The results of the 2015/16 Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey were released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The survey covered the full care journey that a cancer patient experiences, from thinking that something might be wrong with them to the support they received after their acute-care treatment.

High overall rating

Overall perceptions of care were very positive – when asked to provide an overall rating of their care on a scale from 0 (very poor) to 10 (very good), 94 per cent of patients rated their care as ‘7’ or higher.

Importance of care plan

Survey results highlighted the importance of patients having a care plan. Across all 50 questions where responses could be classed as either positive or negative, patients who had a care plan responded statistically more positively than those that did not, including:

  • the overall rating of care (98% positive among those who had a care plan vs 92% positive among those who did not)
  • receiving enough care and support from health or social services after treatment (73% positive vs 34% positive)

Care coordination and administration

Patients were particularly positive about the coordination and administration of their care:

  • 90 per cent of patients considered that the administration of their care was ‘very good’ or ‘good’
  • 98 per cent of patients reported that the doctor had the right documents for their outpatient appointments
  • 96 per cent of patients reported that their GP received enough information about their treatment and condition in hospital


Results relating to patient interactions with staff included:

  • 87 per cent of patients felt that they were always treated with dignity and respect
  • 86 per cent had confidence and trust in all the doctors treating them and 77 per cent had confidence and trust in all the nurses treating them

Non-clinical information provision

Patients were generally less positive when asked about the information they had received from hospital staff that did not relate to clinical care:

  • One in four (23%) patients who wanted it received no information regarding the impact of cancer on their day to day activities
  • Almost half of patients (49%) who wanted it received no information on financial help or benefits.


There were mixed responses regarding patients’ experience of their diagnosis:

  • The majority of patients, 86 per cent, reported that they were told that they had cancer sensitively
  • 28 per cent of patients were not told that they could bring a family member or friend with them when they were told they had cancer

Home care and support

Not all patients needed care and support at home, however amongst those that did:

  • 54 per cent reported getting enough care and support from health and social services during their treatment
  • 45 per cent reported receiving enough care and support after treatment

Patients’ worries and fears

The majority of patients experienced worries and fears during their outpatient/daycase care (81%) and during inpatient stays (73%). Although worries were more common amongst outpatients, they were also more likely to find someone to talk to about them (69% of outpatients found someone to talk to vs 50% of inpatients).

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at

This publication contains results from the 2015/16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey. The survey was sent to all cancer patients aged 16 or over who had an inpatient stay or hospital visit as a day case between January and September 2014, as well as a cancer diagnosis between July 2013 and March 2014. 4,835 patients responded to the survey.

The survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government and Macmillan Cancer Support and was undertaken in partnership with ISD Scotland, as part of the Scottish Care Experience programme. The survey administration and local reporting was undertaken by Quality Health Ltd.

Official Statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


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