The 2-Week Wait Head & Neck Cancer Referrals: Is this System Working?

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Abstract

Introduction: The UK uses primary care physicians as “gatekeepers” to specialist services. In 2000 a referral pathway was implemented for patients with suspected Head & Neck cancer ensuring assessment by a specialist within 2-weeks of referral. Our aim was to assess the cancer detection rate for 2-week wait referrals and determine whether a one-stop clinic would be an appropriate use of resources in a 2-week wait referral clinic. Materials and Methods: A retrospective audit of all 2-week referrals from July 2009 to July 2010.

 

Results: Total 2-week-wait referrals = 622. Confirmed malignancy = 35. 181 patients underwent imaging, of which 76 had an ultrasound, 40 of these were ultrasound guided Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology.

Conclusion: The limited need for FNAC and ultrasound scans suggests that there is unlikely to be any significant benefit in implementing a one-stop clinic. A specific suspected cancer referral pathway in our unit has not resulted in a dramatic improvement in cancer diagnosis rates.

Additional Info

  • Authors: LS Prichard, IJ Whitehead & R Moorthy, P Pracy
  • Keywords: Head and Neck cancer, Referral and consultation, Outpatient clinic.
Read 21955 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 May 2020 12:21

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