BREAST cancer patients are benefiting from drastically reduced waiting times for treatment thanks to a test in Worcestershire.
The test has cut from three weeks down to just two days the time doctors have to wait before being able to decide which treatment to give patients.
Where previously test was sent out to a laboratory in Birmingham, each stage can now be completed by staff in labss at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
This means the time taken to produce the results has been massively reduced and doctors can decide the best course of treatment as quickly as possible, improving the prognosis of patients with certain types of breast cancer.
The new test also means a huge saving for the Trust which previously had to pay hundreds of pounds for each test to be reviewed and sent back.
After an internal verification process, the results from tests carried out in Worcestershire were found to have a 100 per cent accuracy rate, meaning patients can be confident the treatment they receive as a result of the test is accurate and supported by scientific evidence.
The procedure has also received national accreditation after being inspected by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
Consultant breast surgeon Steven Thrush said: “We are delighted because it results in a significant reduction in turnaround time. This benefits patients because it allows treatment plans and actual treatment to start earlier.”
Specialist biomedical scientist Mandeep Deo, who introduced the test at Worcestershire Royal, added: “We used to outsource this test to a specialist centre with a long turnaround time and a hefty price implication. Now we turn this test around within a couple of days and it is significantly cheaper for the Trust.”
Consultant pathologist Dr Sarah Littleford said: “We are extremely proud of the development and hope to expand the service to new diagnostic tests in the near future.”