Five UK hospitals are asking their patients with secondary breast cancer how they feel about the support and services available locally.

Two women talking and smiling

The survey is part of the Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge a partnership between Breast Cancer Care and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

 People in Liverpool Leeds Barnsley Mid-Essex and Ipswich will receive a comprehensive questionnaire about their experiences. They’ll also have the chance to be interviewed by telephone.

Improving standards of care

Secondary breast cancer patients often don’t get the same level of service support as people with primary breast cancer. Many don’t have access to the support of a key worker or of palliative care services. The Pledge programme will help to ensure people with secondary breast cancer get the highest possible standards of care.

This is the second year of the Department of Health-funded project. In year one more than 330 people contributed their views including 10 who became patient representatives at their local hospitals. In this role they work with the healthcare professionals at their hospital to identify and make improvements targeting the issues highlighted in patient feedback.

The Pledge has already been introduced at The Christie in Manchester St Bartholomew's in London York and Scarborough hospitals and Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset.

Change in action

Mary Jennings has been living with secondary breast cancer for two years and was involved in the Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge at The Christie in Manchester. She said:

‘The Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge has given me the opportunity to help make improvements to my own treatment and care such as speeding up the check-in for outpatient appointments and ensuring patients know what they can do while waiting to be seen. I am really pleased to have been able to help ensure other people with secondary breast cancer in my area have the best experience possible and it’s great to see the programme being rolled out to other hospitals around the country.’

The new Pledges will be published early in 2015 – watch this space for updates in the coming months.

Order free information for people with secondary breast cancer