New diagnostic service brings faster diagnosis for suspected cancer patients

Patients with suspected cancer of the colon or bowel can now have greater choice of where they have their diagnosis, thanks to the introduction of a two-week colon and endoscopy service at Peninsula Treatment Centre.

The service has been introduced to ensure that more patients with suspected cancer do not need to wait unnecessarily for a diagnosis. They can be reassured and if it is found that they do have cancer they can enter a care pathway in collaboration with University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) early-on in the diagnosis. 

Patients referred to Peninsula Treatment Centre are seen first in the hospital’s Outpatient Department by one of its three colorectal surgeons. Patients then come back to Peninsula for an endoscopic test within two weeks. The time from initial consultation to results should be within two weeks.

If further treatment is required, patients attend UHP where cancer care takes place.

Care UK, Peninsula Treatment Centre recently invested £2.6 million in a state-of-the-art Endoscopy Suite where a full range of endoscopic procedures take place including:

  • Colonoscopy, used to examine your large and small bowel;
  • Sigmoidoscopy, the examination of the large intestine using a rigid endoscope;
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, where a flexible endoscope is used to look at the furthest part of the colon;
  • Gastroscopy, where an endoscope is passed through the mouth and throat to check the stomach;
  • Trans-nasal endoscopy, where a thinner endoscope is passed through the nose to investigate the stomach (Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre is the only hospital in the area offer this procedure).

Peninsula Treatment Centre is one of a handful of hospitals in the country to have achieved Joint Advisory Group (JAG) accreditation for its endoscopy services at the first attempt.

Mark White, Hospital Director at Peninsula Treatment Centre, commented: “We are delighted to be able to support NHS patients in the South West and our colleagues within the local NHS community. Living under the shadow of a suspected cancer is upsetting and stressful. The sooner a patient knows they are either in the clear, or have a cancer diagnosis which leads to timely treatment, the better.”