Cutting cancer waiting times: streamlining cervical lymph node biopsy.

Dimbleby, G, Golding, L, Al Hamarneh, O and Ahmad, I (2013) Cutting cancer waiting times: streamlining cervical lymph node biopsy. The Journal of laryngology and otology, 127 (10). pp. 1007-11. ISSN 1748-5460.

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Patients with enlarged lymph nodes present to a number of different specialties and diagnosis is often made following a biopsy.


This study aimed to establish department waiting times for cervical lymph node biopsy, and compare these to the cancer services guidelines.


A retrospective audit was carried out to record patient waiting times (defined as the number of days from referral to biopsy) between May and December 2010. A proforma for referral was introduced. In addition, appointments for biopsies were arranged by a co-ordinator. A prospective re-audit was carried out from March to September 2011.


The first audit showed that national guidelines were not met; there was a median waiting time of 74 days (interquartile range, 47-113). Re-audit demonstrated a significant reduction in waiting times using the proforma; the median waiting time had decreased to 18 days (interquartile range, 9-22).


A proforma for lymph node biopsy and a designated co-ordinator streamlined the service, significantly reducing waiting times. Together, these can aid referral for meeting guidelines and improve patient care.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WV Otorhinolaryngology. ENT medicine
Divisions: Ambulatory Care > ENT
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mrs Suganthi Vijayaganesh
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 14:49
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2014 14:49

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