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“This report sets out the findings from the evaluation of Prostate Cancer UK’s Information and Helpline services. The findings are based on:

  • Background research and secondary data analysis of information and previous reports provided by Prostate Cancer UK, including helpline satisfaction surveys and Google Analytics;
  • 14 telephone interviews with members of staff across Prostate Cancer UK;
  • A focus group with the specialist nurses who staff the helpline;
  • 50 telephone interviews with users of Prostate Cancer UK’s helpline and information service;
  • 15 telephone interviews with health professionals that have used Prostate Cancer UK’s services;
  • Fieldwork in six health and community settings, as well as one depth interview;
  • Eight focus groups with people who have not used Prostate Cancer UK’s services, all aged over 50 with six groups of men and two women;
  • 10 follow-up telephone interviews with a selection of the service users.

The helpline is a core service and is growing rapidly. Prostate Cancer UK literature is the most common way for users to find out about the helpline, although the internet – and in particular, the charity’s website – has grown in importance. Satisfaction rates are very high. Only 2% of users said nothing changed after their call, illustrating the impact the service has; more than 80% felt that the specialist nurses helped in a way health professionals could not. Growth in the latest year (2012-13 compared to 2011-12) has been most pronounced in London and the East Midlands, with use spiking among those aged 61-75. Use is over-concentrated in London and the South East, compared to other regions of the UK. In terms of ethnicity, use of Prostate Cancer UK’s helpline is broadly reflective of the population. It is notable that target populations such as Black African and Black Caribbean are also over concentrated in London, however Prostate Cancer UK does not significantly over represent these groups. Prostate Cancer UK should go further to reach more Black African and Black Caribbean users, given that these groups are higher risk.”

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