Cancer survivors in Bucks are being asked how care in the county could be improved.

The NHS in Buckinghamshire has joined forces with Macmillan Cancer Support to look at ways in which cancer care and support could be improved in the county, saying that patients are “best placed” to say what works, what could be made better and what specific services should be available in the area.

Dr Raj Thakkar, clinical director for planned care at NHS Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “More people than ever in Bucks are living with and beyond cancer, thanks to innovations in diagnosis and the high-quality treatments your health services now offer.

“But cancer is a condition that won’t just affect you medically – there will be emotional, practical and often financial concerns, and these can all have a huge effect on quality of life, both during treatment and for a long time after.

“Our project with Macmillan is carrying out research to find out where gaps in our current services might exist and what we can do to improve the experiences of our patients. And the only way to do this is by listening to the local population.”

Rob Thomas, 68, from Iver, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, said he found a support group he attended following his treatment “immensely helpful”.

He said: “I’ve found it immensely helpful to be able to chat to other men who have been through what I have. It’s helped me to realise that everyone’s cancer experience is different.

“Having an open forum to chat means you glean information from others, share stories and support each other.

“It helps you to realise you are not the only one going through this and you can learn from their experiences. I think my cancer experience would have been easier if I had been a member of this group from when I had my initial diagnosis, especially when I was deciding on treatment options.

“That’s why I’d encourage anyone else who’s had cancer to fill in the survey.

“We have to say what worked well and what didn’t work so well, so that they can make improvements. If we don’t say anything, how will things get better?”

Macmillan has handed over £92,000 for the project.

Dr Thakker added: “Things may not change overnight, but if your experiences have left you with ideas of what would be good for residents in Buckinghamshire – whether that’s improving an existing service or offering new kinds of support – we want to hear from you.

“Please help us to do that by telling us what we are doing well and where we could be doing better.”

The survey can be found online at or by emailing