Rapid access for patients with head and neck lumps
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Rapid access for patients with head and neck lumps

Janet Robinson Lead Nurse, Rapid Access Clinic, ENT Department, Southport General Infirmary
Fiona Chew Research Assistant, Aintree University Hospital

Background In the White Paper The New NHS: Modern, Dependable (DoH 1997), the government states that anyone with suspected cancer will be able to be seen by a specialist within two weeks of referral by a GP. Staff at Southport General Infirmary set up a rapid access clinic for patients referred with a neck lump to meet these targets. A protocol was devised to deal with these new patients and the clinic was audited during the first six months to ensure that the two-week target was being met.

Conclusion The results of the audit showed that the rapid-access clinic was able to provide a fast, quality service for this small number (n=58) of patients. The majority (n=49) (84 per cent) of patients were seen within the target time. The remaining patients were not seen within the two-week target because of delays in receiving GP referrals and patients’ difficulties in meeting the allocated appointment.

Nursing Standard. 16, 2, 33-37. doi: 10.7748/ns2001.09.16.2.33.c3088