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Cancer studies warn over NHS cost-cutting
Date:1/15/2012

A leading cancer researcher has identified very high levels of doctor-patient trust and confidence within the NHS.

University of Leicester researcher Professor Paul Symonds also highlights the risk of jeopardizing this record of success if measures to become more cost effective are not carefully thought through and implemented.

In two papers published this month in the journal Clinical Oncology, Professor Paul Symonds of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, assesses attitudes and beliefs concerning cancer care in the UK.

In one paper, Professor Symonds, who is also a consultant at Leicester's Hospitals, and researcher Karen Lord highlight the importance of closer clinical relationships between physicians and cancer patients in helping patients cope with both treatment and diagnosis.

He said: "It is widely accepted that low trust between a cancer patient and their doctor can influence treatment outcome. The good news is that in Leicester we have found a very high level of trust in both hospital and primary care doctors. We must, however, understand the needs of particular patients when sharing sensitive information about the disease and treatment in order to maintain this trust."

Professor Symonds research, funded by Hope Against Cancer, measured trust in healthcare professionals amongst ethnically diverse cancer patients and assessed the effect of this trust on the patients' ability to cope when diagnosed with cancer.

Between September 2007 and January 2010, 279 patients, who were aware they had cancer, entered the study at the Leicestershire Cancer Centre. Researchers found that there was a high level of trust in local hospital doctors in both groups with a confidence that hospital doctors would give the best possible treatment. Researchers also found that:

  • Over 90% of patients regarded their hospital doctors as honest, competent and caring.
  • A greater
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Contact: Paul Symonds
paul.symonds@uhl-tr.nhs.uk
44-116-258-6294
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

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