This essential guide explains the standard of care that all people with pancreatic cancer should have, no matter where they are in the UK, and gives patients the information they need to raise any concerns they might have about the care they’re getting. Launched at events across the country, 937 people received our Patient Charter last year.
Through our funding, specialist surgeon Keith Roberts undertook a pilot project to implement a new ‘fast-track’ surgical pathway in Birmingham.The project resulted in a reduction in waiting times from 2 months to 2 weeks, a boost in the numbers having successful pancreatic cancer surgery, a reduction in complications, and a cut in costs to the NHS of £3,200 per patient.
Over 500 nurses, dietitians and other health professionals came to our National Study Day and regional events last year. We tell them about the latest developments in treatment, upcoming clinical trials and ways to help patients manage their symptoms better.
We also spoke at a number of large conferences, introducing ourselves to new audiences and making sure the patient’s voice was heard.
Consultant Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic and Liver Transplant Surgeon at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Surgery is the only potential cure for pancreatic cancer. Most patients who go on to have surgery develop jaundice as their rst symptom. At this point surgery is possible but it needs to be coordinated quickly between doctors in local and specialist hospitals. For most patients this is not the case and due to delays in treatment the jaundice needs to be relieved by placing a stent in their bile duct. However, not only does this procedure cost the NHS money, but it’s often distressing for patients, runs the risk of infection and can create further complications down the line.
With a £50,000 grant from the Clinical Pioneer Awards scheme, my team in Birmingham together with our colleagues in referring hospitals were able to develop a fast-track pathway for patients with jaundice, which we hoped would get them into surgery faster and improve outcomes by avoiding the need for stenting. And I’m pleased to say that our results were incredibly positive. 91% of patients did not require a stent, and we were able to reduce the average time between diagnosis and surgery from over two months down to just 16 days.This had a huge impact on patients, who were able to spend less time in hospital, make better recoveries and enjoy life for longer.
Without Pancreatic Cancer UK’s funding, it would have been hard – if not impossible – for us to undertake our research and develop the new pathway. Without a doubt, their investment has helped us transform the outlook for patients in Birmingham with operable pancreatic cancer.