May 24, 2011 10.21 am This story is over 150 months old

Faster care for breast service patients

Faster recovery: Women needing to use the hospital’s breast service may not have to stay quite so long if they don’t need to.

A pilot in Lincolnshire to speed up treatment and discharge of women using breast services has become a permanent at Lincoln County Hospital.

The project, which ran up until January, looked to bring down the time women are in hospital for a mastectomy from up to five days to as little as 23 hours.

The aim of the pilot was not only to cut time in hospital but to also improve patient care experience.

On average, Lincoln County hospital saw a time improvement of two days, the most improved time in the county.

Cancer Services Manager Julie Pipes said: “The pilot was part of an East Midlands-wide project looking at putting clinically appropriate patients on a new pathway to be seen and treated more quickly.

“We did a lot of groundwork to make this change possible, which included carrying out patient satisfaction surveys, setting up a system to ensure all patients are seen pre-operatively by a breast care nurse and developing an exclusion and discharge criteria.

“Clearly, some patients are not able to be cared for on this very short pathway, but it made a huge difference for those who could.

“The outcome of this has included improved patient involvement and choice in decision making, flexibility of discharge and overall a reduction in their length of stay- which can only be a good thing.

“It has been such a success that the Trust as a whole is now looking to implement a 23-hour mastectomy pathway to be used in future.”

Source: ULHT | Related Report: Lincolnshire Echo