Gateshead launches new cancer diagnostics service

Patients in Gateshead will be the first in the country to benefit from a new women’s cancer service that will provide faster diagnosis, better support and a more personalised approach to their care.

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust is the first to launch the brand new Rapid Diagnostic Concept Service to help diagnose gynaecological cancers quicker and offer bespoke patient care.

The service is funded by Northern Cancer Alliance to improve women’s cancer diagnosis for patients in the area.

To support the new service, the Trust has recently recruited new cancer pathway navigators, who will provide a single point of contact for the patient to arrange appointments, chase up results and offer emotional and practical support.

During the pilot scheme, patients have already begun seeing the benefit and the feedback has been outstanding.

Julia Chawner, 72 years-old, from Dunston was one of the first patients to be referred through the new service. Her daughter Susan Thompson praised the service her mother received and said: “Due to previous hospital experiences and hereditary illnesses, my mum was extremely worried about coming in for appointments but from the very first phone call with cancer navigator Rachel, we were instantly reassured and put at ease.

“The service we were provided from the offset was second to none; my mum felt she was treated as an individual and not just another number with numerous letters regarding appointments.

“Rachel, Michelle and Rob Walker were all extremely caring and went above and beyond to make my mum as comfortable as possible due to her mobility issues. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

This personalised service will provide a single point of contact and introduce a much more tailored plan for each individual patient.

Iain Cameron, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist said: “We are well renowned for our cancer services and we are delighted to have launched this new service to allow us to diagnose women’s cancer earlier and put our patients first with their care and treatments.

“As a team we are able to refer patients quicker than the normal two week window and give them a single point of access to those who are showing cancer symptoms and remain alongside to support them through the whole process.”

The new service went live in early August.