Neuro-oncology shortlisted for team of the year award

07 March 2013
The neuro-oncology service has been shortlisted for BMJ cancer care team of the year award

The neuro-oncology team

The Cambridge Neuro-oncology Service at Addenbrooke’s has been named as a finalist in the BMJ Improving Health awards for cancer care team of the year.

The service was shortlisted for its work in moving from emergency-based referrals to an elective, outpatient-based pattern of care for patients with glioblastoma multiforme– the most common and deadliest form of brain tumour. This also won the team the best Transforming Care project in action at the annual staff awards ceremony in December.

Stephen Price, consultant neurosurgeon, said: “Survival trends for patients with these types of malignancies have remained largely static - even with surgery, chemo and radiotherapy the average life expectancy is 18 months. We studied how patient outcomes had been affected after we implemented these new NICE guidelines.”

Since 2010, patients have a same-day appointment with a specialist nurse, are given information about condition, how the surgery works and are asked if they would like to take part in clinical trials. After surgery, they are given their results in the clinic and discuss their ongoing treatment. They then have six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed by another six months of chemotherapy.

The service compared time from diagnosis to treatment, proportion of patients discussed at multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings, treatment received, length of inpatient stay and survival. Inpatient and imaging costs were also estimated.

As a result, the number of patients being discussed by the MDT increased from 66% to 87%, emergency admissions were reduced in favour of elective surgery, average length of stay dropped from eight to 4.5 days, an increased use of post-operative MRI from 17% to 91% facilitated early discharge and treatment planning, and the cost of inpatient stays reducedby 37 per cent.

Mr Price said the team’s success is down to working across divisions:neuroscience, oncology, perioperative and investigatives sciences.  “All of us have this common mindset and that’s helped us work towards the same goal. Patients are channelled through a single pathway and cared for by clinicians working together in MDTs and special clinics.”

The prize will be announced at a gala dinner in London on 09 May.