Cancer Services – Cancer Waits Office

The Cancer Waits Office was set up in the Western Trust in response to the introduction of the Cancer Access Standards by the Department of Health in April 2007. 


The purpose of these standards is to ensure that all patients referred by their General Practitioner as having a suspect cancer, should be seen, diagnosed and treated within 62 days of referral.  This also applies to those who have been upgraded to suspect cancer patients when their referral letter is triaged by a Consultant.


The role of the Patient Trackers/Navigators includes ensuring that each patient’s clinic appointments, diagnostic tests, having their case discussed at the relevant Multidisciplinary Cancer meeting and their subsequent treatments are scheduled within the defined time frames.


Systems have been set in place to ensure that at each milestone along the patient’s pathway the Tracker is aware of what needs to happen next to progress the patient to the next stage of their pathway.  This could be an investigative procedure, a medical imaging scan or their name added to the discussion list at the next Multidisciplinary Cancer Meeting.


Patient Trackers/Navigators ensure that all relevant patient information is available for each discussion, they record any follow up action for each patient and ensure that it is carried out. The Patient Tracker is responsible for forwarding relevant information concerning patients that have to be transferred to another Trust for their treatment, such as surgery or radiotherapy and for requesting that these patients are discussed at the Regional Multidisciplinary Cancer meetings if appropriate.


For more information about regional cancer services visit the Cancer Services website.