The Insight & Feedback Team in NHSE/I have published a set of three short videos on our YouTube channel to help providers and commissioners understand how perceived bias, poor communication and dignity issues can leave black and minority ethnic cancer patients with poorer patient experience than white British people.

We know from the annual National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, that while experience of care is generally very positive, there is a pattern of poorer experience being reported by people who describe themselves as Asian, Black, Mixed, Other White and Other in the questionnaire.

The survey highlighted that BME were less likely to have been involved in decisions about their care and less likely to have received an explanation of treatment that they understand. This situation has been consistent and a concerning one that we have a responsibility to acknowledge and to try to address this matter. Therefore in 2019 a qualitative research was commissioned from a human rights charity – Brap – to know more about what is driving the differences in survey results.

From this research, the below three short films were produced.  They are an accessible way to share information with a wide range of stakeholders, and we hope they will be used as a training resource or a discussion starter. Video can be powerful in telling the stories of individuals whose very personal experiences can sometimes be lost sight of under layers of statistical data.

For example, a woman in the Bias film who tells us how something as simple as a warmer introduction and a handshake could have put her and her husband at greater ease during a cancer diagnosis.  In the Communication film, patients and advocates urge healthcare professionals to be more aware of the greater risk of prostate cancer among black men and initiate conversations that could lead to earlier diagnosis.

We aim that these films help achieve some of the potential improvements identified. Thank you to the patients who gave their time and put their trust in us to listen to their feedback.  Cancer doesn’t care about people as individuals.  We must.

Insight & Feedback Team in NHS England and Improvement.