What’s the project?

Our Specialist Nurse telephone service offers free and confidential support and information to people who are affected by or concerned by prostate cancer or disease. Our Health Information service produces and distributes printed resources about prostate cancer and disease which are available to order or download from our website.

The services were funded by the Movember Foundation and Marks & Spencer.

How does it work?

Anyone with questions about prostate cancer and disease can call a Specialist Nurse who can give support and information. Each year more and more people are calling our nurses. In 2012-13 we received over 6,000 calls, and we wanted to evaluate the service so we could find out more about its impact and how we could improve it.

Men and their families can also download or order our free publications that cover a range of topics from awareness of prostate cancer to information about different treatments, written and edited by our Health Information team. We also produce audio and video resources.

How was it evaluated?

We asked a research company, Shared Intelligence, to evaluate our services during 2013. They analysed our survey of telephone service users and carried out telephone interviews with them as well as healthcare professionals and our staff. We also wanted to find out more about the use of our publications, and therefore six focus groups were carried out in healthcare settings where staff and practitioners meet men with prostate cancer, from specialist cancer centres to a prison. Eight focus groups were also carried out in community settings to find out more about diverse groups of people who could use our information, but who had not yet used our services.

What did we learn?

  • Our users are highly satisfied, and 82% of the users surveyed agreed that contact with the Specialist Nurse helped in a way that health professionals were unable to.
  • Callers appreciated having more time with the Specialist Nurse compared to a health professional. It also enabled them to have better discussions with their health professionals.
  • The quality of our information is appreciated, including the clarity and jargon-free language used, as well as the breadth and detail available. The information was considered accurate and reliable.
  • Useful information and increased confidence and reassurance were the benefits that were mentioned most by service users that had been in touch with us.
  • There is still a need to raise awareness of prostate cancer and of Prostate Cancer UK, including with communities and health professionals.

I was really emotionally upset, and the nurse was so helpful and so reassuring. All of it has been useful but that one-to-one contact and being able to ask questions and talk about an individual case was incredibly useful.


The report made a number of recommendations for improving the quality and reach of our services, to better meet the needs of service users.

What will we do now?

  • We will improve the promotion and development of services to men and families, increasing the ways in which people can access information, such as the Easy Read format.
  • We will do more to reach marginalised and isolated groups, and higher risk groups in particular such as Black African and Black Caribbean users.
  • We will set up a follow-up callback service offered by the Specialist Nurse at the end of a call, so we can better monitor and review the quality of calls from users’ feedback.
  • We need to raise awareness of our services, working with health professionals in particular. We have developed a health professional engagement strategy to guide this work.

How can I find out more?

  • Call our Specialist Nurses on 0800 074 8383 (Text relay prefix - 18001)
  • Speak to a Specialist Nurse via Live Chat
  • Order publications online
Read the report (.doc)