Cancer Patient Project

This 12 month project aims to analyse language use of an annual survey given to all patients who are treated for cancer by the National Health Service. The survey collects demographic information (age, gender, sexual identity, ethnic group) about each patient as well as asking them to provide written feedback regarding their experiences. We are using corpus-based techniques to analyse 14.4 million words of text from years 2015-2018 inclusive with the aim of identifying insights from patient feedback that can be used to advise the NHS on ways to improve their services.

We have worked with members of NHS England to identify a range of areas to drive our analysis. These include change over time as well as considering how demographic features like sex and age impact on patient experience. We will consider the main areas of patient concern, key drivers for positive and negative feedback, experience at different points in the patient pathway and what key words might trigger an alert for review. We will also compare the quantitative scores with the comments given to gain a better understanding of what it actually means when patients rate their experience on a scale of 0 to 10.


Professor Paul Baker (Principal Investigator)

Dr Gavin Brookes (Senior Research Associate)