A new one-stop-shop clinic to investigate the cause of blood in urine, saving patients from anxious waits for test results, will start in Bradford this spring.
Urology specialists at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have redesigned the way in which people with blood in urine, or symptoms of this, are tested and assessed – to speed up the process and give patients on-the-day results.
This will streamline the process and improve the experience of patients who are being investigated for possible bladder or kidney cancer.
It means that patients will have all the tests required on one day and get their results from a consultant-led clinic at the same time; with a clear plan for treatment if cancer or another problem is found, or the all-clear if nothing is identified.
Over 90% of bladder and kidney cancer diagnoses are in men and women aged 50 and over. Smoking is a main risk factor in developing the disease, as is working in the chemicals industry, but it can develop in people with no links to either of these things.
Rohit Chahal, Consultant Urologist at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI), has worked with a range of colleagues in the urology team, radiology and Westwood Park Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (DTC) to introduce the changes with the support of funding from the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance.
“This is a very positive development which we hope will reduce the anxiety and worry that many patients feel when they have separate tests and then have to wait for results, especially when they could be facing a life-threatening condition,” explained Rohit.
“We have an excellent service for investigating blood in urine but at present patients need to attend for several appointments, over a couple of weeks, before being told the outcome. This change will improve their experience and help staff deliver an even better service, as we always want to provide the best care possible for patients.”
In 80% of cases no cancer will be found, and the blood in urine may be the result of an enlarged prostate, kidney stones or infection, or no reason for it may be found.
From the end of March, patients with visible blood in urine will have a CT scan at St Luke’s Hospital in the morning and attend Westwood Park in the afternoon where the urology team will review the results. Patients will also have a full assessment followed by a cystoscopy (procedure to look inside the bladder).
If they are found to have cancer, a consultant or senior doctor will explain the diagnosis and further treatment will be discussed and they will also see a cancer nurse specialist and be assigned a key worker.
For patients with suspected (non-visible) blood in urine, they will have an ultrasound at St Luke’s Hospital in the morning and then go to Westwood Park in the afternoon for a cystoscopy and diagnosis.
Rohit added: “Blood in urine should never be ignored; it’s a key symptom for bladder cancer. If you notice blood in your urine, even if it’s just the once, tell your doctor. Early diagnosis saves lives, so everyone – especially people aged 50 and over, should look out for symptoms.”
- This service to investigate blood in urine is called the haematuria service.