Cancer patients have praised Bedford Hospital for the way it handles their care, putting it among the top in the UK.
Those surveyed said they are more likely to feel that they are involved in decisions about their care and treatment than at any other hospital in the country.
That is the verdict of more than 100,000 patients who took part in the NHS National Cancer Patient Experience Programme 2012/13 National Survey, where they were asked 70 questions regarding the quality of care at 155 acute hospital NHS trusts across the country.
A total of 84.6% of patients at Bedford agreed that they were “definitely involved in decisions about care and treatment”.
That was just one of a number of areas where patients put the quality of care received at Bedford as being among the best in the country. 83.2% of patients agreed with the statement that they “completely understood the explanation of what was wrong” – the second-highest score of any hospital.
And 90.5% of patients said “Staff explained how the operation had gone, in an understandable way,” – only two hospitals had a higher score.
In total 116,525 patients were questioned about their hospital experience for the survey, being asked a range of questions about their care.
Dr Rory Harvey, consultant gastroenterologist at Bedford Hospital, said: “These results reflect the hard work and dedication of our staff.
“Our aim is not just to ensure successful clinical outcomes, but to make sure that patients have the best possible experience.
“Earlier this year a team from Bedford Hospital presented the results of a ground-breaking study at the world’s most prestigious cancer conference in America, after they found that a unique food supplement has a significant anti-cancer effect on men with prostate cancer.
“And last year one of our staff was the first non-Iraqi doctor to travel to war-torn Iraq to give a scientific presentation at the first Cancer Conference to be held there following the recent conflict.
“But these results are not about the headline-grabbing initiatives – they are about our teams working hard, every day, to try to ensure the best possible care, treatment and outcomes for our patients.”