Acute Oncology Service

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY1177/2023
  • Departments: Oncology (Cancer Services)
  • Last Updated: 1 September 2023


This leaflet has been produced to give you general information. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion. If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

What is an Acute Oncology Service?

We are a team of specialist nurses and doctors providing advice, guidance and support to patients who have been admitted acutely unwell and found to have a new or suspected diagnosis of cancer or to those patients with a known cancer during an inpatient stay.

The Acute Oncology team does not replace your wards specialist team but works with them to provide a better and more seamless service by supporting ward teams with specialist knowledge and advice needed to ensure that any patient with a cancer diagnosis has their specialist needs met.

Meet The Team

Dr Shagufta Mirza Lead Acute Oncology Consultant

Amanda Plewes, Clinical Nurse Specialist

Kayleigh Bartle, Clinical Nurse Specialist

Emma Gollins, Clinical Nurse Specialist

How can we help you?

We are here to support you in a number of ways:

  • Investigation of the suspected or unknown primary cancer
  • Management of complications associated with the cancer
  • Information that may help you make decisions about the care and treatment you could be offered
  • Answering questions you and your family and / or carers may have

What happens to you when you have been referred to the Acute Oncology Team?

One of the team will visit you on the ward to talk to you about your care within 24 hours of receiving a referral. If the referral is made on a weekend or a bank holiday we will see you the next working day. This person will be your key worker during this admission, if you already have a key worker we will not replace them, we will liaise and update them accordingly.

The Acute Oncology nurse will see you as often or clinically required or dependent on your needs.  We can also meet or speak with your family if you wish.

The doctors and nurses on the ward will continue to be in charge of your care, our role is to work with you and the ward team. Our intervention is only necessary whilst you are an inpatient.

As part of the investigations needed to identify or confirm a cancer you may need to have a CT (computed tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), blood tests, biopsy and a discussion in a multi-disciplinary team meeting (MDT)

A CT scan can produce detailed images of inner structures/organs within the body, enabling diagnosis and to guide further tests or treatment, as an inpatient the results are usually reported within 48 hours.

An MRI can be used to look at most areas of the body and maybe requested if a CT scan hasn’t been able to give all the information needed. Again as an inpatient the results are usually reported within 48 hours.

Blood tests can detect substances in your blood called tumour markers, which are made by some cancers

A biopsy is a small piece of tissue that will be taken from a tumour using a needle. This is one of the most important tests and can help show what type of cancer you have. It may not always be possible to biopsy the tumour if it is in a difficult area of the body to reach; or if the risks of biopsy outweigh the benefits. Your doctor will discuss this with you if it is the case. The results can take 7 – 10 days to be reported.

An MDT is meeting of a team of relevant specialist consultants, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists and specialist nurses, who discuss, analyse and represent you to determine the most appropriate treatment or care pathway. The ward team will discuss these investigations should they be appropriate for you.

What will happen afterwards?

After you have had your investigations the information from these will be used to help tailor your care plan and management. Sometimes you do not need to remain an inpatient for some investigations or await the outcome of the MDT decision and you can be seen as an outpatient if necessary.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Acute Oncology Team on telephone: (01482) 605262 Monday – Friday 8:00am – 3:45pm, Should no one be in the office to take your call please leave a message with your name, HEY or NHS number if you have it and contact details and we will return your call, but please be advised this maybe the next working day.

Useful Information

Macmillan Cancer Support at

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

QR code to open leaflet