Haematology and Oncology Services
Haematology services diagnose and treat blood disorders for conditions such as haemophilia and leukaemia and provide treatments including blood transfusion services. Oncology deals with the treatment of cancer. These services are delivered in out-patient clinics and in-patient beds. We currently provide these services across Lincoln, Pilgrim and Grantham Hospitals (haematology out-patients only at Grantham), with the majority of care delivered at Lincoln Hospital.
Why we need to change?
As in many services, we have a heavy reliance on agency staff for our medical workforce. For example, only eight of our twelve oncology consultant posts have permanent staff.
People are waiting too long to be seen and for treatment. Our performance is poor on the cancer 62 day referral to first treatment standard, which is rarely met. The 31 day wait for treatment is also not consistently achieved. These can be the most stressful periods of waiting for our patients.
We know that more people are being diagnosed with cancer every year and we want to be ready for this growing demand.
In summary, we are not achieving service standards, we struggle to recruit in this specialty and there is an anticipated growing demand in the next decade.
What is the ‘emerging option’?
Our emerging option is to have all haematology and oncology inpatient services at Lincoln Hospital.
All other services stay the same. This means that haematology and oncology outpatients and day cases will continue to be provided from all three hospital sites, creating no additional travel for these most frequent appointments. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy will be provided at Lincoln Hospital as now. Chemotherapy day cases will continue to be provided locally at Pilgrim and Grantham Hospitals.
The benefits of this could include:
- People with the worry of a cancer diagnosis will see a specialist and receive treatment much sooner
- Improving our ability to attract and retain staff and maximise the efficiency of our consultants
- Reducing our reliance on temporary, high cost staff
- Services will be fit for the future and we will be more able to meet the anticipated growing number of people with cancer