The breast cancer service team at St George’s Hospital, London, has won an NHS Improvement award for reducing the amount of time that patients spend in hospital following surgery.

In January 2011 the team introduced a new 23-hour discharge model for breast cancer patients. As a result there has been a remarkable improvement in the length-of-stay figures for breast patients with 83 per cent discharged in two days or less. Patients previously needed to stay up to five days in hospital.

Mr Dibyesh Banerjee, consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon said: “Most of our patients now stay in hospital for just a single night, with some being safely discharged on the same day as their surgery. When we introduced the model we had initially aimed for a target of 70 per cent of discharges within two days.

“However, we have achieved a far better result by streamlining care pathways and introducing a nurse-led discharge service. This means that patients can now be discharged efficiently and safely seven days a week, improving their experience and aiding their recovery.

“This award is well deserved and a testament to the hard work of the team.”

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact the Communications Unit on 020 8725 5151 or email Outside working hours, please page us by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.