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Case Studies / Macmillan Cancer Support

Understanding inequalities in cancer experiences and outcomes

The Brief

Macmillan Cancer Support needed to understand why the national Cancer Patients Experience Survey documents that ethnic minority, LGBTQ+ and older cancer patients consistently report more negative experiences and outcomes in cancer services.

Our approach

We created an online community with 90 ethnic minority, LGBT or older (aged 65 to 90) people living with cancer, as well as 24 healthcare professionals, academics and diversity specialists. Over 2 months, we explored experiences, unmet needs and potential inequalities across the cancer journey.


The research generated a wealth of insights used to shape policy, train healthcare professionals, develop community support, create tailored campaigns and engage seldom-heard patients in service design. Taking part also had a profound therapeutic impact on many cancer patients, who talked about issues they had never felt able to discuss before.




The project was Finalist for two Awards : MRS Healthcare Research and HSJ

Download Case Study

Nick Downes and Dr Julia Chim

Independent evaluators

Macmillan Cancer Support

“Versiti’s online approach represents a cost-effective means of engaging with a wide group of individuals, many of whom are often harder to engage – delivering rich and deep responses and opportunities for participants to interact with each other in an open and flexible environment. […] It uniquely combines insight generation and participant empowerment.”

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