Audit of 2-week wait referrals to the Gynecology Department in District General Hospital and investigating patient awareness of the reasons and importance behind the referral (2018)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Wilkinson M.; *Sahu B

BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Dec 2018; vol. 125 ; p. 48

Introduction Two-week wait referrals to gynecology services are at a premium with pressure on numbers. Referrals can be inappropriate. Patients are often unaware the appointment is for suspected cancer. Methods Two-week wait referrals were examined during a six month period. The gynecologist in clinic collected data. Patients were asked about their 2-week wait referral, gauging awareness around their referral. Clinical symptoms and signs were compared to those in referral. Appropriateness of the referral was assessed by symptoms fitting the 2-week wait criteria or clinical findings on referral not consistent with the presenting symptoms and findings in clinic. Results A total of 172 patients were referred under the 2-week wait criteria; mean age was 58 years, range (17-95). Referrals were from 50 separate primary care practices. Suspected cancer referrals were composed of 111 endometrial, 15 ovarian, 22 cervical, 15 vulva/vaginal and 9 of mixed pathology. There was awareness of referral for cancer in 90 cases (52%), awareness of “2-week wait” in 124 cases (72%) and aware that the appointment could be at either hospital within the trust in 96 cases (56%). The referral was considered appropriate for 2-week wait referral in 123 (72%) of cases. Conclusion The majority of patients were referred correctly. A wide range of pathologies was seen. A significant number could have been referred as routine referrals or advice requested. Patient awareness of it being a referral due to suspected cancer was poor with better appreciation of the urgency of referral.

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