Commissioned by NHS England and analysed by Quality Health, the survey has been designed to transform how local services are delivered to improve patient experience, health outcomes and sustainability, while monitoring the progress that local areas are making to improve quality of care.

The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2016 asked people with cancer across England for their views on their care, with 72,788 responding.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“It’s promising to see a generally positive shift in the experience of breast cancer patients, but this survey draws attention to a number of key areas that need to be addressed if this trend is to continue.

“It is encouraging to see an increase in the proportion of breast cancer patients who rated their overall care as the best it could be. But I am concerned about the proportion of women who are diagnosed after going to hospital rather than via their GP, and the low number of breast cancer patients receiving a written care plan.

“We know anecdotally that patients with more advanced forms of breast cancer report a much poorer experience than others. So we are concerned that these results may be masking the fact that women with incurable, secondary breast cancer may have a poorer experience of care – for example in terms of being able to access a clinical nurse specialist.

“With over 46,000 women being diagnosed with breast cancer each year in England, this survey is a valuable tool in understanding patient experience, and brings to light the key areas that need to be dealt with across the board.

"We look forward to working with NHS England to tackle these issues through the implementation of the Cancer Strategy to ensure that patients, commissioners and healthcare professionals can drive real improvements in patient experience.”