Nurse-led service development for suspected bowel cancer
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Nurse-led service development for suspected bowel cancer

Karen Cock Lead colorectal specialist nurse, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Truro, Cornwall, England
Deborah Evans Surgical nurse assistant practitioner, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Truro, Cornwall, England
Rebecca Collins Surgical nurse assistant practitioner, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Truro, Cornwall, England

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. Early diagnosis has a significant effect on survival rates.

Referral guidelines for suspected bowel cancer state that symptomatic patients should be referred by a GP for an appointment with a specialist within two weeks. Once referred, the primary aim of secondary care clinics is early diagnosis.

This article describes a nurse-led service development to respond to the increasing numbers of people with suspected bowel cancer referred under the two-week guideline. The reconfigured service has streamlined care, reduced waiting times and has been received positively by patients.

The innovation resulted in the award of an international travel scholarship for the team. As a result, the first transanal total mesorectal excision has been performed in the trust and the team’s knowledge of malignant and benign conditions in the bowel has improved.

The service has further responded to increased demand by providing telephone assessments. Audits are being conducted to assess and compare patient satisfaction with face-to-face versus telephone assessments, and any differences in cancer detection, number or type of investigation.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 16, 2, 28-31. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2017.e1371

Correspondence

karen.cock@nhs.net

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 26 October 2016

Accepted: 14 February 2017