Tackling cancer waiting times and improving support

The NHS in Gloucestershire has been working hard to reduce cancer waiting times and improve support for patients; more people with suspected cancer are now being seen within two weeks and if diagnosed, starting their treatment within 31 days.

Working with partners, we have introduced new GP guidance and patient information to improve arrangements for referral to hospital and we are continuing with an extensive Macmillan GP Masterclass programme to support the early recognition of suspected cancer.

We are also working hard to ensure patients receive faster and more joined-up care through combined clinics; patients can now see a urology specialist and have tests in a single visit whilst people with some skin cancers can be diagnosed and treated on the same day. When a GP suspects bowel or lung cancer, more patients now go straight for a diagnostic test, such as a colonoscopy or CT scan.

Gloucestershire is also gaining national recognition for its Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation service. This specialist community service for people with breast, colorectal or prostate cancer is provided by Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust. It helps people with their recovery, and lifestyle advice to improve and sustain their wellbeing.