Chief Nursing Officer Visits Charing Cross Cancer Wards

Jane Cumming sees how trust is improving patient experience

Related links


Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Macmillan Cancer Support

Chief Nursing Officer Bulletin

New Cardiac Labs Opened at Hammersmith Hospital

Hammersmith Hospital Pioneers New More Natural IVF


Sign up for an email newsletter from:, and


England’s chief nursing officer Jane Cummings visited two cancer wards at Charing Cross Hospital on Tuesday October 8 to see how Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is improving cancer patient experience.

Ms Cummings toured the wards, and spoke to staff and patients, to see how the Trust is implementing an approach called the Macmillan Values Based Standard co-developed by the charity Macmillan Cancer Support and patients, staff and carers.

The Trust is one of the first in the UK to implement this approach which is structured around eight behaviours, designed to improve both patient and staff experience, and support staff to improve the way they deliver care.

The Trust has used various ways to obtain honest and detailed feedback from patients about their care to enable staff to better understand their experience of the Trust’s services and put actions in place to improve patient experience.

Through Friends and Family surveys and the I-track patient feedback system, the Trust collects real time feedback across cancer wards which can be viewed daily by staff.

The visit was hosted by Janice Sigsworth, the Trust’s director of nursing, and Bill Shields, the Trust’s joint chief executive. Ms Cummings was accompanied by Neil Churchill, director of patient experience for NHS England, Jagtar Dhanda, head of inclusion at Macmillan Cancer Support, Vibha Sharma, patient experience coordinator at Macmillan Cancer Support, and Julie Wells, director of Transforming Health, who Macmillan has commissioned to lead implementation of the approach.

Ms Cummings said: "I am delighted to be able to see the progress in improving cancer patient experience which has resulted from the collaboration between Imperial College Healthcare and Macmillan Cancer Support."

Janice Sigsworth said: "I am really proud to be able to show the chief nursing officer the outstanding collaborative work we have been doing with Macmillan to engage patients in their care, and improve the patient’s experience while  in hospital.

" We have some of the best cancer survival rates in the country and we are working very hard to improve the patients’ experience of cancer care. A key success factor for improved patient experience is great staff experience and we have used the Macmillan Values Based Standard® to design a staff survey that we have run alongside the patient survey.  In addition we have introduced interventional rounding where patient feedback has resulted in significant changes including:

  • Nurses speaking to patients every hour (while they are awake) to find out how they are, if they need anything, and updating them on their care
  • Supporting the refurbishment of a cancer ward in Charing Cross Hospital, adding a quiet room and a room for breaking bad news.
  • Taking every opportunity to talk to patients and families about their care plans and decisions about care.
  • Freeing nurses up to attend ward rounds."

Winsome Thomas, lead nurse for the cancer service, explained that patient feedback had also contributed to a redesign of the patient pathway to ensure that patients were assigned a bed more quickly. Meanwhile, changes to wards rounds had made them more patient centred while staff used less technical language when talking to patients.

Jagtar Dhanda, from Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "We regard Imperial College Healthcare as a pioneering site which has been involved in the Macmillan Value Based Standard from the early stages. Imperial College Healthcare has made commendable progress in implementing this approach over the past year. 

"The work to implement the Macmillan Values Based Standard at Imperial is a practical example of how Macmillan is working with partners to bring the chief nursing officer’s Compassion in Practice vision to life, through the eight behaviours translating the principles within this vision into reality. We look forward to continuing to work with Imperial to build on the progress it has made in implementing the approach so far and spread this to other areas of the Trust."