02:23PM, Monday 17 May 2021
A new clinic launched by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust hopes to cut the waiting time for a prostate cancer diagnosis from 28 days to 12.
As part of a service that began on May 11, appropriate patients referred by their GP for prostate cancer investigations will be invited to attend an outpatient appointment at Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot.
This will include an MRI scan, an appointment with a consultant urologist and, if necessary, a prostate biopsy.
The entire process will take less than five hours. Previously the patient would have had to attend three separate appointments before getting a firm diagnosis, usually taking 28 days.
Heatherwood Hospital’s urology department is one of the first in the country to roll out the ‘one-stop’ clinic model for prostate patients.
Alan Jefferies, 69, from Berkshire, was the first patient to attend the clinic.
He said: “This whole idea is really great as it makes the process so quick and efficient. Being able to get your results and diagnosis this quickly is so reassuring to both patients and families, and it’s a real bonus that I only have to come into the hospital once rather than having to organise multiple appointments.”
Clinical nurse specialist Tanya Gill is one of about 30 nurses in England able to complete the biopsy procedure, which is usually carried out by a registrar or consultant.
She said: “We’re so grateful to have been able to launch this clinic and have support from so many different departments to make it a possibility.
"Scheduling all of these appointments to fall on the same day for these men truly takes an army and we’re so lucky to be working alongside such supportive colleagues.”