Photograph of happy service users with a member of staffAt the heart of Surrey and Sussex Cancer Alliance is the patient voice. We believe everyone should be treated with care and compassion and be an equal partner in their care. Our ambition is to improve the health and wellbeing of our cancer patients and our community as a whole, through developing improvements in cancer services designed in partnership with our patients, carers and communities, so that we can help make our services better for all patients.

Providing advice and expertise on quality improvement 

Our patient focus groups and community partners give us incredibly valuable insights to help us co-design and improve cancer services through their advice in improving the quality of:

  • Outcomes of cancer treatment 
  • Patient Experience
  • Screening for new cancer cases
  • Improving access to NHS services 
  • Patient information 
  • Making reasonable adjustments taking patient needs into account

Examples of patient participation in our work

Here are some examples of how we have involved patients in the work of the alliance:

A patient focus group identified gaps in the service and gave their feedback which helped to shape the Prehabilitation and Rehabilitation Service Specification. 

Two resource packs were developed (one for healthcare professionals and one for patients) in co-production with our patient groups. The packs contain comprehensive information about health and wellbeing services and support available to cancer patients and their carers. View the Virtual Health and Wellbeing Patient Resource Pack.

The training module for primary (GP practices), community and secondary (hospitals) care was developed in co-production with our patient groups. We held a focus group to discuss what should be included in the training and which competencies staff should have to provide excellent care and treatment to enable patients and their carers to be seamlessly supported whilst living with and beyond cancer.

A patient focus group was held to discuss the care navigator’s role in terms of impact on the patient experience and satisfaction, and how to evaluate the service. 


NHS England's national website on how to get involved has a lot of helpful information and, if getting involved in shaping healthcare services is all new to you, the website also has five top tips to get you started.