Background Following the National Chemotherapy Advisory Group report, calling for better management of patients with cancer admitted acutely to hospital, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, with Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Network, implemented an acute oncology service (AOS) for the region's seven acute trusts.
Study design We prospectively collected data on all referrals from March 2010 to December 2012, seen by the seven local teams within the cancer network.
Results Over 7000 patient-episodes were analyzed. We found an AOS has the greatest impact on reducing hospital stay of patients admitted with complications of cancer treatment, compared with patients presenting with cancer symptoms, or those presenting with a new cancer as an emergency. Also an AOS significantly reduces the mortality rate of patients admitted with complications of cancer treatment, compared with patients presenting with cancer symptoms, either of a known cancer or those patients presenting with a new cancer as an emergency.
Conclusions Our network establishment of an AOS has had a positive impact on the quality of care cancer patients receive, in addition to saving local trusts valuable bed days, due to the overall reduction in hospital stay. This study also highlights deficiencies in the cancer journeys of certain patients with cancer, such as patients who present with a new cancer as an emergency admission, or patients unable to be discharged due to a lack of community resources. Such analysis is important in highlighting where the AOS can concentrate resources and collaborate with other healthcare professionals, especially within the local community.
- ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY MEDICINE