A patient who is currently undergoing cancer treatment has thanked staff at St George’s for the excellent care she’s received over the past five years.

Catherine Olaniyan, 60, has been a patient at St George’s since she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She used to live in Streatham, but now travels three times a month to Tooting from her new home in Kent for treatment.

“I was offered a hospital nearby, but I wasn’t willing to give up St George’s.” said Catherine. “I can’t fault the staff. The care has been wonderful.”

Catherine is one of many patients who agree: cancer care at St George’s was rated as the second best in London by patients in the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.

The results also place cancer care at St George’s 37th out of 145 Trusts across the country, compared to 124th in 2018.

The annual survey, which is commissioned by NHS England, surveyed 707 St George’s patients who had received treatment for different types of cancer in 2019.

St George’s scored highly and above the national average in a number of key areas:

  • 88% of patients had confidence and trust in all doctors treating them, compared to a national average of 84%.
  • 85% said they felt ‘definitely involved as much as they wanted’ in decisions about treatment and care, compared to a national average of 81%.
  • 86% felt that treatment options were completely explained compared to a national average of 83%.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Catherine has continued to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at St George’s.

Catherine said: “I was scared initially, but the team did everything they could to reassure me. They sent me letters and explained exactly what would happen when I came to the hospital. Everything felt very well managed.”

“I also have a number I can call at any time and I feel confident that if I need help, or there’s something I’m worried about, there’s always someone there to help me.”

At St George’s, Catherine is supported by a Chemotherapy Clinical Nurse Specialist and Macmillan Support Worker, who help to coordinate her care. In her addition to our cancer teams, Catherine is also reviewed by our cardiology and renal teams as a result of her high blood pressure.

Catherine said: “I was scared initially, but the team did everything they could to reassure me. They sent me letters and explained exactly what would happen when I came to the hospital. Everything felt very well managed.”

“I also have a number I can call at any time and I feel confident that if I need help, or there’s something I’m worried about, there’s always someone there to help me.”

Janice Minter, Head of Nursing for Surgery, Cancer and Major Trauma, said: “This is such positive news for both our patients and staff. So many different teams have worked hard to improve care for patients – so it is fantastic to see this reflected in the latest survey results.”

“Patient outcomes are so important, but an individual’s experience of cancer care is also crucial – so we are all really pleased.”

Catherine added: “To anyone who is going through a diagnosis, trust the team at St George’s – they truly do care and would do anything for you, so I can understand why they have achieved such brilliant results for patient experience.”

To access St George’s full report from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, click here.

Photo caption: Catherine Olaniyan with Janice Minter, Head of Nursing for Surgery, Cancer and Major Trauma; Yuanjie Li, Chemotherapy Nurse Specialist; and Melissa Nicholl, Macmillan Support Worker.