Surgeons at South Tyneside District Hospital have achieved a major breakthrough in improving the outcomes for bowel cancer patients, with a patient being able to return home after a single overnight stay.
After close monitoring, grandmother Margaret Gregg, 77, of East Boldon, was able to leave hospital at 6pm on the day after keyhole surgery.
Mr Arun Krishna, lead Surgeon for colorectal cancer at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, stayed in the hospital until midnight after Mrs Gregg’s operation to ensure that her recovery was on course.
He said: “It is truly fantastic to be able to discharge a patient on the first post-operative day. This is a very rare occurrence following major bowel cancer surgery. It is particularly remarkable in Margaret’s case, given her age, but she is very fit and active and has a really positive attitude.”
Mrs Gregg, who was a nurse, said: “The treatment I had was first class throughout but I was more than happy to come home. Everybody likes to be in their own bed. Within a couple of days, I went for a little walk and I was soon out cycling again.”
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Ken Bremner said: “Arun and his colleagues have set a new standard, which offers tremendous possibilities in terms of patient experience and satisfaction.”
Mrs Gregg’s case is expected to be just the first of many at South Tyneside District Hospital.
Mr Krishna added: “I am confident that, in the future, we can select more patients who will be suitable for having a major bowel resection operation with only an overnight stay. This is wonderful news in terms of our patients’ experience and, by reducing length of stay in hospital in some cases, the Trust will have more money to invest in services and in further improving patient care.”