Working together improve early diagnosis of cancers in the South West

Currently 48% of cancers in the South West are diagnosed early (stage 1 or 2). However, a quarter of cancer patients are diagnosed following an emergency admission to hospital and go on to have poorer outcomes than those who are diagnosed during an earlier stage of their illness.

Earlier this year the Cancer Network launched an audit of patients, looking to understand the reasons behind late diagnosis and also to provide a better understanding of the management of patients diagnosed following an emergency admission.

‘By doing this audit and closely examining the reasons as to why this group of patients cancer diagnosis is delayed we hope we can all work together to remove obstacles, whether in primary or secondary care, to improve outcomes.’ Helen Thomas, Clinical Director, SWSCN Cancer

85 significant events were simultaneously audited and analysed by GPs and hospital staff across the South West. Both parties then came together locally to discuss their cases in detail and identify any themes by which emergency admissions could be avoided or the experience of care following admission could be improved.

To read a comprehensive report detailing the results of the audit and proposed actions resulting from the findings click here