Improving the pathway for men with suspected prostate cancer
Kelly Kusinski, Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (firstname.lastname@example.org), runner-up in the Urology Nurse of the Year category in the BJN Awards 2021
Over the past 3 years, I have been dedicated to helping redesign the patient pathway for men with suspected prostate cancer at my trust. I had already undertaken elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) assessment and transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsies, so was in a good position to lead on these changes.
Back in 2018, achieving the new faster diagnostic standard for prostate cancer by April 2020 required the communication of a cancer diagnosis, or the ruling out of cancer, to the patient within 28 days from referral from their GP (NHS England, 2018). Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK. Increasing numbers of referrals presented a real challenge for most NHS trusts to achieve this new best practice pathway. Within my own trust the same patient pathway was in excess of 43 days. It was therefore identified that improvements in the current pathway would be required to meet the new diagnostic target.
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