Faster diagnosis and treatment and better patient experience

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Ovarian Cancer Action is thrilled to have been selected as the charity partner for the Nursing Times Awards this year. It is a partnership that aligns perfectly with our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and its symptoms amongst healthcare professionals.

We spoke to Jo Simmons, Project Manager at the Chelsea & Westminster Acute Diagnostic Oncology Clinic, about their nomination in the Cancer Nursing category. The team have been recognised for the vital work they are doing in the field of faster diagnosis:

"We are very excited to have been shortlisted by the Nursing Times and delighted to see that Ovarian Cancer Action is the charity partner.  We set up the [clinic] at Chelsea & Westminster initially as a scoping project. Our aim was to reduce the number of patients that are diagnosed with cancer for the first time in A&E and speed up the start of treatment.

“It became clear after our first year of activity that we could make a really big difference in terms of faster diagnosis, treatment and a better experience for a small group of patients.  The clinic has now become a permanent part of the Acute Oncology Service at the hospital.

“This year we have added a specialist GP working with us to ensure that our patients can also benefit from both general medical and specialist oncology skills.  Not all our patients are diagnosed with cancer and so our GP is great at ensuring that all our patients are directed to the services that they need. "

Currently, a third of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed when they are admitted to A&E. This route to diagnosis is associated with poorer survival and a worse patient experience. Women have a 90 per cent chance of surviving five years if their ovarian cancer is caught stage one, which plummets to four per cent if diagnosed at stage four, so faster diagnosis is crucial.

In the past year alone, Ovarian Cancer Action has collaborated with GPs and nurses in 102 health centres to educate them about ovarian cancer and its symptoms, with the aim of getting more women referred before it is too late.

Jenni Middleton, Editor of the Nursing Times, says, "It is fantastic to be working with Ovarian Cancer Action as our charity partner at this year’s Nursing Times Awards. Every year, we try to work with a partner that will be meaningful to our audience of nurses and healthcare professionals and this one has real significance and importance for many in our audience. We look forward to supporting their fundraising activities at our event, and I hope our nurses at the Awards dig deep for this amazing cause.”