NNUH Oesophago-gastric Cancer Unit named as one of the best in UK in recent national audit
The Oesophago-gastric Cancer Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is celebrating results from the recent National Oesophago-gastric Cancer Audit (NOGCA), which show the Trust to have maintained an ‘excellent profile’ for their services offered to patients.
Most notably, NNUH reported a 30 day mortality percentage of 0% and the shortest length of stay for patients after major complex operations for cancer of the oesophagus compared with every major cancer centre in the country. This means we have one of the quickest recovery rates following this type of surgery for our patients in the country.
In addition, the Trust continues to perform the highest percentage of Minimally Invasive Oesophagectomy (MIO) in the UK, a procedure to remove part of the oesophagus (gullet). The national average for minimally invasive approaches to oesophagectomies is 38%. NNUH performs at around 95%.
Mr Edward Cheong, Upper GI Cancer Lead and Consultant Oesophago-Gastric Surgeon said: “The results from this recent audit reflect the enormous dedication and commitment from the entire Oesophago-gastric Cancer team at the hospital. We are extremely proud of the work we do and it is fantastic to be independently recognised for the quality of our service.”
NNUH is rated as one of the top units in the country for treating Oesophago-Gastric Cancer and one of the few units in Europe to perform totally minimally invasive oesophagectomy whereby the entire operation is done by keyhole surgery (laparoscopic and thoracoscopic oesophagectomy). The keyhole or laparoscopic surgery is less traumatic to the body allowing the patient to recover significantly faster.
Mr Cheong said: “We are developing many different areas of our service which will prove of massive benefits to our patients. The unit is currently developing laparoscopic gastrectomy, which will place us at the forefront of minimally invasive oesophago-gastric cancer surgery in the UK. Our oesophageal patients association also continues to be the largest in the UK and is thriving, and most recently we have appointed two upper gastrointestinal dieticians dedicated to Oesophago-Gastric cancer patients.”
Further developments include two integrated theatres for major complex cancer operations with funds raised from Mr Bhaskar Kumar, NNUH Consultant Surgeon and the Big C Centre, which are planned for next year.
Oesophageal Cancer is a very aggressive cancer that affects the oesophagus. The number of patients affected by this type of cancer is rising faster than any other cancer in the Western world, and the UK has the highest incidence in the world (Norfolk has the 5th highest incidence of oesophageal cancer in UK).
The NNUH with the Oesophageal Patients Association (OPA) are also raising awareness for oesophageal cancer. The most important message is if you have difficulty swallowing/ food sticking when you swallow, or if you have indigestion / heartburn on and off for three weeks, please tell your GP. Early diagnosis of this cancer will make it more treatable.
Peter Chapman, NNUH Medical Director said: “The audit results reflect the quality of all staff we have at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the fantastic care we provide to our patients. We are very proud to be able to provide such excellent Oesophago-gastric Cancer care here in Norfolk, and I want to thank all those involved in helping us to achieve these results.”