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03 Apr 2017
Press Release

VCCC Cancer Patient Experience Survey Results

  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • University of Melbourne

Image: Professor Mei Krishnasamy, Chair of Cancer Nursing, The University of Melbourne

Vital signs: 2016 VCCC Cancer Patient Experience Survey results provide fresh insight for health care providers

For the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, better outcomes for Victorian cancer patients is the raison d’être for our work across research, education and clinical care. The VCCC’s Living with Cancer program set out to better understand patients’ experience of their cancer care to identify opportunities to reduce the impact of cancer on patients and families. Such insights are vital for helping health service providers to do more of what works, and identify key areas of need and opportunities to improve.

To achieve this, the VCCC commissioned a major survey to measure patient experience to inform improvement initiatives for quality of care. Using the National Health Service (England) Cancer Patient Experience Survey (CPES), the VCCC CPES was first conducted in 2013, and repeated in 2015-16, allowing comparisons over time, between hospitals and against the NHS.

The survey results highlight areas which could be the subject of further intervention and monitoring within and across all of the VCCC clinical partners.

The CPES questionnaire was sent to 6,163 admitted cancer patients aged over 16 years. 2,527 (41 per cent) patients responded compared to 1,885 (37 per cent) in 2013. Responses were compared to the 2013 VCCC cohort and 7,065 respondents from the 2014 NHS CPES.


Nurses are key: as in 2013, there was a clear association between having a designated named nurse specialist and patient experience. In 2015/16, patients with a personal nurse specialist were significantly more positive in 98.4 per cent of the survey questions compared to those without one.

Communication improvement: progress has been made in the provision of written information to cancer patients across the VCCC. Compared to 2013, patients were significantly more likely to receive understandable written information about their tests (78 per cent versus 74 per cent, p<0.05) and operations (60 per cent versus 55 per cent, p<0.05)

Decreased patient research recruitment: patients surveyed in 2015-16 were significantly less likely to be asked to take part in cancer research compared to those in 2013 and in England (39 per cent vs 52 per cent and 49 per cent respectively, p<0.05)


The survey data is now available to key stakeholders within the VCCC alliance and the Western and Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services (WCMICS) through a password-protected online portal. The portal contains an interactive, section-led summary of all survey results, along with comparisons against the 2013 cohort and a 2014 NHS England peer group. Two levels of access to the portal are available:

Level 1: VCCC-wide site-identifiable data, with full portal functionality. This includes access to the results snapshot – an interactive single screen summary of all results – and the data explorer tool that allows you to compare and examine particular questions of interest

Level 2: Site specific data with de-identified aggregate VCCC reporting

Please note that the portal does not identify individual respondents.

In addition, a de-identified VCCC aggregate PDF report is also available upon request.

To request Level 1 or 2 access to the portal, please contact Ipsos Public Affairs e. Sumedha.Soni@ipsos.com who will request authorisation from the VCCC or your site specific representative (depending on the level requested).

Requests for the PDF report should be sent directly to the VCCC e. victorianccc-info@unimelb.edu.au.



COACH videos

As a result of CPES findings. the VCCC supported a project at Peter Mac to produce a series of videos to educate and coach medical professionals in the patient's perspective on patient care. Click here to view.