How to Get Involved

Patient Engagement and Involvement

The NHS Long Term Plan has set ambitious targets for the continued transformation of cancer care so that:

  • an extra 55,000 people each year will survive for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis;
  • three in four cancers (75%) will be diagnosed at an early stage.

Engagement with patients and the public is essential to ensure services are responsive to the needs of people affected by cancer throughout their cancer journey. Patients and the public have a unique perspective on how the NHS diagnoses and treats cancer and supports cancer patients after their treatment. They are also the people who are most familiar with their behaviour when it comes to seeking medical advice about a potentially serious health problem like cancer.

Cancer clinicians and NHS managers want to hear from patients so they can make sure that the services they are responsible for or work in meets the needs of every patient and the local population. They are also keen to hear the views of cancer patient families and carers when planning changes to cancer services.

There are lots of different ways to get involved in the work of the Peninsula Cancer Alliance and our NHS provider trusts and commissioners. These are described below:

Information for the Public and Further Support 

When we talk about ‘health inequalities’ in a cancer sense, the term refers to numerous different sets of challenges that people have in terms of accessing cancer services. This could impact on how early they seek treatment and how involved in their treatment decisions they are. The Peninsula Cancer Alliance recognises that health inequalities exist within the South West region as they do in every region of the UK. It will ensure that when it involves patients in designing services, all types of patients will have the opportunity to have their view represented.


There is a local Healthwatch in every area of England. Healthwatch organisations exist to find out what people like about services, and what could be improved, and share those views with the NHS to make change happen. Healthwatch organisations can also help people to find the information they need about services in their area. There are two Healthwatch organisations in the South West. These are:

National Cancer Patient Experience Survey

Our hospitals undertake this survey on an annual basis. They take great notice of the feedback they get from the survey.

Complaints and Comments

The service treating you will have a process in place for dealing with complaints and receiving comments about the standard of care you are receiving or have received. These processes tell the service treating you or your loved one what it is doing well and where it could and should do better.

Under 16s with Cancer

Independent research conducted with children and young people with cancer, their parents/carers, and health, social care and other professionals working with children and young people with cancer as well as key national stakeholders, including children’s cancer charities identified a strong preference for a national survey to be developed. In Summer 2020, the NHS will be launching a National Cancer Patient Experience Survey for Under 16s with Cancer.