Our Service Pledge is a programme dedicated to improving breast cancer services.

The Service Pledge brings patients, healthcare professionals and Cancer Alliances together to work in partnership to design and deliver a concrete action plan of improvements, for everybody’s experience of breast cancer.

How does it work?

Breast Cancer Now helps hospitals gather patient and staff feedback on their breast care service through surveys and focus groups. The feedback gathered is discussed to find practical ways of making meaningful improvements. Through listening and learning from each other, patients and healthcare professionals work in a true partnership.

We pledge to deliver positive change: Ask patients and staff what the think > Collate and analyse feedback > Reveiws and discuss feedback > co-design of improvements > implements and improvements>back to topBreast Cancer Now draws on 15 years’ experience of improving breast cancer services across the country. To date, over 120 breast services across the UK have worked with patients to develop their local Service Pledge, delivering over 400 improvements for primary and secondary breast cancer patients in the past five years.

Find out where our recent Service Pledge hospitals are located:

Patient involvement

Service pledge members

The Service Pledge actively involves people with different perspectives of breast cancer, to develop a more complete understanding of the challenges and opportunities to improve treatment and care.

Patients can use their experience of breast cancer as an empowering way to help improve the services others will receive in the future. Every person's experience of breast cancer is unique and each one matters.


To be able to input our voices and thoughts into the big NHS machine and see our ideas come to life was fantastic.

– Linda Young, patient representative 2017

As well as working with local patients, Breast Cancer Now recruits Patient Advocates, who are trained volunteers with a personal experience of breast cancer. They play a key role in the Service Pledge, helping to support patient involvement and provide an expert sounding board. 

For me, becoming a Patient Advocate was about making a difference. I felt with my background and diagnosis of breast cancer I could speak up and represent others who might not themselves be able to do so.

Joan, Patient Advocate 2017

Working with healthcare professionals

Man talking at service pledge meeting


Through the Service Pledge, healthcare professionals can share their experiences. Combined with patients’ feedback, this provides a deep, broad understanding of how to improve the services teams provide and helps do the best for patients. 

I wanted to get involved in order to take ideas from our past patients to make the experience better for our patients in the future.

Karen Ives-Smith, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Service Pledge lead

Breast Cancer Now provide support throughout the process – sharing expert insight, streamlining the process and keeping healthcare professionals motivated, so that services get as much out of it as possible.
 

Involving Cancer Alliances

Cancer alliance representative
One of the main aims of Cancer Alliances is to drive local change in the quality of cancer services to improve cancer outcomes and patient experience.

The Service Pledge recognises that patient experience is as important as clinical effectiveness and safety. By continually improving services, Cancer Alliances can help more people with breast cancer to live and receive the support they need to live well.

By working with Cancer Alliances across the country, the Service Pledge makes sure that learnings and best practice are shared across teams, hospitals and regions, creating consistency in the standard of breast cancer care.

Read our blogs

If you would like to read more about how patients are helping us improve services, take a look at our guest blogs:

Read about how Beverley found her voice by getting involved with the Service Pledge

Read about how Clover turned a difficult experience into something of value

Patient Advocate Anna Sarphie shares her experience of working with Breast Cancer Now and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals

Read how Patient Representative Flora Sheringham has been working with the Service Pledge to improve services at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

For more information

If you’d like to find out more about the Service Pledge, please contact Catherine Wood, Head of Services Improvement, on 020 7025 0082 or email service.pledge@breastcancernow.org