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Fast-track clinic

By Dawn Beaty, Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist, University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust

Category: Investigation Process

The problem identified

New suspected lung cancer referrals were being seen in several clinics across the Trust, at one time across 3 hospital sites. The service was not an effective use of lung CNS time as it created difficulty covering all the designated clinics.

The intervention made to change the problem

The problem was discussed within the lung cancer team and it was agreed that there should be a dedicated fast track lung cancer clinic where all patients referred with suspected lung cancer were seen. Since moving to a new site we have been able to develop the fast track clinic further enabling a more efficient service. The clinic runs on 2 days a week giving more flexibility for follow up appointments and avoiding unnecessary delays. Dedicated CT slots are available and the majority of fast track referrals have a CT scan performed, prior to being seen in clinic. Bronchoscopy appointments are also made available within 7 days so that, if appropriate, patients can be provided with date and information about the procedure. The clinic is facilitated within the respiratory out-patient department where patients can undergo other diagnostic and screening tests such as spirometry, blood tests and chest x-rays.

How it changed my practice

Patients have benefited from improved continuity and access to specialist care from their first appointment. All patients see a Macmillan LCNS who is introduced as their key worker.
Any additional investigations that may be needed will be requested at the MDT ensuring rapid progression along the lung cancer pathway. Patients are contacted by the CNS following the MDT meeting and appropriate onward referrals/further investigations are discussed/arrange. This way of working has improved the patient pathway, reducing waiting times and helps achieve national targets. Patients receive the right information at the right time and are supported by the CNS throughout their lung cancer journey.


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