£100,000 investment to help reduce lung cancer testing waits

Staff member Alix Costello with new lung testing equipment

PATIENTS across the Fylde coast are to benefit from new equipment that will reduce the wait to receive lung cancer test results.

The equipment, which means molecular testing of lung cancers can take place on the Blackpool Victoria Hospital site rather than be sent away, was bought following £100,000 of funding from NHS England through projects Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust is undertaking in partnership with Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance.

The funding was provided after the project team of Joanne Sharples, Helen Sanna, Alix Costello and Dr Lipsita Patnaik submitted a bid outlining how they planned reducing the turnaround time of a number of lung cancer tests.

Previously some specialist lung cancer tests were delayed because they were sent to Birmingham but the team is now undertaking molecular tests in lung cancer for Fylde coast patients on site.

Helen Sanna, Senior biomedical scientist, said: “This change will enable clinicians to have access to complete results sooner than previously. This means treatment decisions can be made earlier, benefiting patients and improving the Trust’s waiting times for cancer treatment.’’

She added: “I have found the project challenging, interesting and rewarding. It has been a lot of hard work as the standards we have to conform to when performing tests are extremely thorough.

“New tests and drugs are being launched all the time and we hope that we can continue to offer our patients in the region the most up to date tests in a timely manner which allows them to access the treatment they need as soon as possible.”

Jackie Brunton, Lead Cancer Nurse, said “The teams have worked so hard and were so committed to bringing this service locally. It will make a real difference and it is great to have this type of specialist work developed on the Fylde coast.”

These tests will also be performed at BTH for other Trusts across Lancashire in the near future, saving time and money and improving the patient experience.


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