One-stop neck lump clinic at James Paget Hospital praised by patients

Multi-disciplinary staff at the JPUH

The multidisciplinary staff of the neck lump clinic have heled patients "feel comfortable and safe". - Credit: James Paget University Hospital

People say they have been "put at ease" by a new neck lump service offered by James Paget University Hospital which is aimed at diagnosing life-threatening illnesses faster.

The hospital's new one-stop clinic offers faster diagnosis and treatment for patients with neck lumps.

The new clinic was set up in August 2020 to make sure those with neck lumps – which can be an early warning for thyroid, mouth or throat cancers – could be seen by specialists as soon as possible.

Those attending the clinic are examined and, where an immediate cause can’t be identified, will then be sent for an ultrasound and further tests, usually on the same day, to start the diagnostic process.

In the first six months, patients were asked to fill out a survey about their experience.

Of more than 60 responses, 98pc rated the service as "good" or "very good".

The survey revealed that most patients had been seen within two weeks of referral by their GP, with more than half attending the clinic even more quickly - 10 within a day or two of referral and 28 about a week after referral.

A nurse and a project manager standing by the ear, nose and throat department sign

Julie Buckenham, Macmillan cancer lead, and Katrina Strak, cancer transformation project manager. - Credit: James Paget University Hospital

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Patients said: "Everyone was pleasant and kind and helpful", "All staff very polite explained who they were and what was happening", "Very friendly staff, put me at ease", "lovely and kind, even holding my hand (during a test)", "I felt comfortable and safe".

Other patients commented on how quick and efficient the service was.

Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon Mr Basil Al Omari said: “The feedback for the clinic is very positive and I have to thank everyone who made this happen from managers to clinicians, nurses, clerical staff, our great secretaries and not forgetting our colleagues in radiology and pathology.

“We will try to do our best to make this experience as easy as possible for patients and we are always happy to receive suggestions for how to improve our service.”

The team recognise it can be worrying to find a neck lump and are keen to encourage anyone who may find a lump to contact their GP as soon as they can, as this may put your mind at rest quickly or mean you are diagnosed at an earlier stage.