Faster diagnosis and quicker access to the right treatment are at the heart of a new-look service being developed for people in Northamptonshire with urological conditions.
More and more people in our county are experiencing urological problems – conditions affecting the kidneys, bladder, their connecting tubes and the male reproductive system.
Over the last five years alone there has been a 27 per cent increase in the number of people referred to urology departments Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals, and this will continue to increase as our elderly population grows.
This increase in demand puts pressure on local services and makes it more difficult to meet waiting time standards – but thanks to advances in technology and modern treatment methods it’s now possible to give more people the care they need without the requirement for surgery or an overnight hospital stay.
This has led to the growing nationwide use of what is known as a ‘one-stop’ model of care for urological conditions – where patients are seen, tested, diagnosed and given an individual treatment plan all in the same hospital visit.
Not only does this mean shorter waiting times, faster treatment and fewer trips to hospital for the patient, resulting in less stress and more convenient care, but it also helps to reduce pressure on wider health and care services by managing demand more effectively.
This one-stop model is currently being tested at both KGH and NGH, with the two trusts working closely together through Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership to develop standardised processes ensuring patients throughout the county can access the same high-quality care.
So far, patient feedback on these one-stop clinics has been positive and the two trusts are developing plans to implement permanent services in the near future.
Hemant Nemade, clinical director for cancer services and consultant urological surgeon at NGH, said: “Onestop clinics are a hugely important part of our wider Partnership work to support the growing number of people experiencing urological conditions in Northamptonshire.”
David Payne, consultant surgeon in urology and urooncology at KGH, added: “By providing tests, results and a consultation in a single hospital visit we can diagnose and treat conditions faster, resulting in better outcomes for our patients and helping us to manage increasing demand in a sustainable and co-ordinated way.”