BREAST cancer patients in Redditch and Bromsgrove are now benefitting from drastically reduced waiting times for treatment thanks to a test now carried out at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

The test, which is new in the county’s hospitals, has cut the time doctors have to wait before being able to decide which treatment to give patients, from three weeks, down to just two days.

Previously, the test to determine the best treatment was sent out to a laboratory in Birmingham.

The test is now completed by staff at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, which means a huge saving for the trust.

Steven Thrush, consultant breast surgeon at Worcestershire Royal said: “We are delighted with the introduction of this test because it results in a significant reduction in turnaround time.

"This benefits patients because it allows treatment plans and actual treatment to start earlier.”

Mandeep Deo, specialist biomedical scientist who introduced the test at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, said: “We used to outsource this test to a specialist centre with a long turnaround time and a hefty price implication. Now we turn this test around within a couple of days and it is significantly cheaper for the trust.

“The inspection of our procedures by The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has given us accreditation for carrying out these tests and means we can now look at potentially providing this service to other local hospitals and NHS Trusts in future.”

Consultant histopathologist at the hospital, Dr Sarah Littleford said: “This is yet another example of how flexible and innovative the histology department is at Worcestershire Royal.

"We are extremely proud of the development and hope to expand the service to new diagnostic tests in the near future."